What it means to be a disciple can best be understood around the unfathomable mystery of the incarnation. God took on human flesh. God invaded our planet and forever changes it. God became incarnate. He took on human flesh in a way that is shocking, raw and physically tangible. God knew there was no better way to show human beings than by fully entering their world- physically and emotionally. God took on skin and flesh for us.
Ronald Rolheiser powerfully illustrates why:-
There is a marvellous story about a 4yr old girl who awoke one night frightened- convinced that in the darkness around her were all kinds of spooks and monsters. Alone, she ran to her parents’ bedroom. Her mother calmed her down, and taking her hand, led her back to her own room, where she put on a light and reassured the child with these words ”You needn’t be afraid, you are not alone here. God is in the room with you.” The child replied, “ I know that God is here, but I need someone in the room who has skin!”
God knows we needed His skin, not simply the knowledge that He is everywhere. People today are desperate for ‘skin’ – to be loved, for someone to be incarnate with them. For this reason they will pay $100 to $150 an hour to a therapist as someone to love them, to enter and to care about their world.
Today, God still has physical skin that can be seen, touched, heard and tasted. How? Through his body, the church in whom He dwells. We are called, in the name of Jesus and by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit to be skin for people all around us.
Peter Scazzerro – from his book “The Emotionally Healthy Church.