Last week 17 of us went on our annual vacation to Deer Island. A sense of excitement was in the air. This year’s trip had been ‘pulled back from the brink’. It did not look hopeful that we would go but a group effort had made it a reality!
As a part of our vacation we had planned a “Christmas in Summer”, with turkey and all the trimmings and carols old and new filled the air. It was a great opportunity to teach about the Incarnation. This important concept often does not get absorbed during the commercial X’mas season of our Western culture, so it was good to spend a concentrated time looking at the incarnation of Jesus and His call to follow him in ‘incarnational’ ministry.
We began where every good Christmas message should with a look at the Fall. We examined the enormity of the descent from “very good” to our current state. We saw though that the fall was quickly followed by a promise and that promise was a person, “the seed of the woman.”
Our next stop on this incarnational hop through the Bible was Philippians chapter 2. Here we saw Jesus’ descent and noted it was a greater descent than ours at the Fall. His descent to humanity and his obedience as a man even unto death is set out as an example that we should have this same attitude. Is this the true Spirit of Christmas? Jesus descent is followed by a glorious ascension and the Word says we have been “raised with Him.”
Our final Christmas thought was that our mission now (should we chose to accept it) is to be in the world though we are already seated with Him in the heavenlies and incarnate, put flesh on, the teachings and good news of Jesus.
In the midst of all this we ate wonderfully! Every meal was a party! And we had two baptism in the chilly waters of the Bay of Fundy. One of those baptized said “The water was freezing but when I ‘went under’ all I could feel was the warmth.”
We all arrived back safely ( I kept my word and flew no kites) and talk has begun about next year.
This meeting of honest accepting and broken people on Deer Island is like the Pool of Siloam, it is a healing spot. I am so glad to be a part of it.