Book Club Channel
Sacrilege: Read an Excerpt
It was this spiritually disoriented world that Jesus entered with a radical message and even more radical life. John writes, "So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father's one and only Son" (John 1:14 NLT).
The Message paraphrase says it this way: "The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood. We saw the glory with our own eyes, the one-of-a-kind glory, like Father, like Son, generous inside and out, true from start to finish."
And the NIV says it in the most literal way, "The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth."
Frankly, our world is just as spiritually disoriented as it was in the time of the first incarnation of Jesus. Just substitute "American Westernized Christianity" for "Jews who'd turned a relationship into rules" and our spiritual-but-not-religious population for the Greek and Roman philosophies, and everything old is here again. Incarnation means to "take on flesh." It's the most profound idea of the Christian faith—that the impersonal Word became personal, that theology and doctrine came in the form of fleshy humanity—and it was God's only way to cut through the bull of religion and nebulous spirituality so that we could get a handle on a truer image of God.
As I stated earlier, what you believe about who Jesus is will be the most important thing affecting who you become, what you do, and how much you experience the living God. As God incarnate becomes fleshy—"alive"—to you, you will likewise become more fleshy to the world.
Sacrilegious Jesus . . . How about sacrilegious you?
To consider: What is your image of Jesus? Write down your honest thoughts about how you view him. Where did you pick up these images?
To do: Begin drafting a letter to your children or friends about your heart for them to know the real Jesus. We will revisit this at the end of the book, so begin writing a short history of your faith journey to this point.
"If I am not allowed to laugh in heaven, I don't want to go there."
Excerpt from Sacrilege by Hugh Halter, Baker Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group. Copyright 2011. Used with permission. All rights to this material are reserved. Material is not to be reproduced, scanned, copied or distributed in any printed or electronic form without written permission from Baker Publishing Group. http://www.bakerpublishinggroup.com
Hugh Halter is a church planter, pastor, consultant, and missionary to the US. He is the national director of Missio and is the lead architect of Adullam, a congregational network of missional communities in Denver, Colorado. He speaks extensively across the country encouraging and equipping pastors in incarnational ministry and missional leadership.