The term “incarnational missions” is one of those catch phrases used so much it almost lacks any meaning when we hear it now. It seems that now, all it really means is ‘to go and live among a people’.
The idea of incarnational missions is based on the Incarnation of Christ, God taking on flesh, the uncreated entering into the created. St. Gregory of Nazianzus’s oft-quoted, “that which is not assumed is not healed”, not only helps us understand the impact of God’s Incarnation, but would naturally also extend to incarnational missions.
As for the Incarnation of Christ, he becomes fully man…every aspect of man. Therefore, every aspect of man is healed as it is united to God. And in missions, the extent to which we are truly incarnational will be the extent to which the world will be able to be healed by the gospel message.
Continue reading “What Is Incarnational Missions?”
Heading toward a fuller understanding of what it means to live incarnational lives, whether you stay in your local parish or are sent out to cross into another culture and incarnate Christ in that context, we should first investigate some key words from the gospels to build an appropriate understanding of what it means to “bear witness” to the gospel.
Witness, testimony. Maybe some of you have heard this before, but it is a good reminder: the word “witness” and “testimony” are the same word in the Scriptures. To bear witness, false witness, give a testimony, “his testimony is true”, and every other instance, are built on the same root word in Greek. And that is not all. The root on which they are built is the word martyr. So, intentionally transposing these words in English will help us feel some of the nuance that word holds in all of its various contexts:
Continue reading “What Is Living a Christian Witness?”