Being Christ’s Incarnational Presence

Lately I’ve been thinking about the scope of the incarnation. Jesus was born and dwelt among us. But who is the ‘us’? Were there ever any borders, either physical or metaphorical, that Jesus stayed within? Any study of Scripture is quick to show that Jesus made it a practice to cross as many borders as possible in his time on earth.

This issue of RW is about the incarnate Christ who calls us as his followers to continue to be his presence here on earth and to transcend borders. The main worship series in this issue crosses the border from reality to imagination using the writings of C. S. Lewis to help us experience and enter into Scripture in a new way (de Jong, p. 3). With characters from The Chronicles of Narnia we explore the difference the presence of the Holy Other makes in the world around us and how in God’s physical absence we become representatives of that presence. Through the Holy Spirit present in us, God continues to dwell here on earth. The incarnational presence that brings life to whatever it touches continues to be active, transcending both physical and metaphorical boundaries.

Any study of Scripture is quick to show that Jesus made it a practice to cross as many borders as possible in his time on earth.

Christ’s incarnational presence is for all, not just for the religious elite or the pure. That means we need to be equally present as Christ’s followers to all people in all places. In this issue, that truth is expressed in articles and resources that reflect on the plight of the refugee (Borger, p. 19), those living with mental illnesses (vanOyen Witvliet et al., p. 27), millennials (Ryan, p. 38), and the Deaf community (Potthast, p. 43).

This expansive view of the incarnation and redemption means that our worship needs to be equally expansive. One of the things I enjoy most about engaging with Reformed Worship readers (who are also our main contributors) is that you are always finding ways to expand our understanding of worship while becoming more inclusive in practice, thus more fully expressing God’s incarnational presence in the world.

If you have been equally blessed by the contents of Reformed Worship, consider contributing financially to our ongoing work. While you may be a paid subscriber of the quarterly print and/or digital issue, think of all the additional resources you receive that are not covered by your payment: the website, weekly blogs, monthly e-news, our Facebook page, and support from our staff. Many organizations charge an annual $90 fee for similar services. Join the mission of Reformed Worship by donating to our year-end campaign, either online using the donate button at the top of the right-hand column or by mail: Reformed Worship, 1700 28th St. SE, Grand Rapids, MI, 49508.

Rev. Joyce Borger is senior editor of Reformed Worship and a resource development specialist at the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship.

Reformed Worship 129 © September 2018, Calvin Institute of Christian Worship. Used by permission.