Heathdale flower 16th September 2021

Imagine If God Was One of Us!

"What it would be like if God became just like us?" He did become like us, and we know this person as Jesus Christ.

Heathdale flower

The other day I was reminiscing with my family about television shows that I watched as a kid. After putting up with the expected side comments such as, 'did they have TVs in those days?’ I proceeded to tell them about a comedy program that had this new emerging comedian, Robin Williams. The show was called ‘Mork and Mindy.’

Robin Williams played the part of an alien who was sent to earth to learn what it was like to be a human being. His fellow aliens were curious about this species called humans and they wanted to get to know what being human was like. However, as an alien, it was a completely foreign concept so Mork befriends Mindy to ask her to teach him. As you could imagine, this led to all sorts of comical situations! Despite all these experiences, Mork was none the wiser of what it meant to be a human.

Talking about Mork brought back memories of a hit song in the early 1990s, called 'One of Us’ which asks a question: "what if God was one of us?” The song suggests imagining what it would be like if God became just like us; the irony is that He did, and we know this person as Jesus Christ.

Dr Cynddylan Jones, the great Welsh theologian and Christian Minister, once said, "the only way for God to maintain His credibility in the midst of the human race that was ravaged by immorality and sin was to taste for Himself the conditions under which we live. This He did in the act of the Incarnation – Jesus Christ.” Dr Jones went on to say, “Before God gave Himself for us, He gave Himself to us in the form of Jesus Christ!”

These are powerful words indeed! Yet the Bible puts it even more powerfully and directly in John 1:14: "The Word (meaning Jesus) became flesh and dwelt among us.”

I must admit that I love the phrase ‘and dwelt among us’. I love it because it indicates that the visit of God to our world was not a momentary rift in the clouds, giving us just a fleeting glance of Deity. No, He dwelt (lived, resided, settled) among us. From the manger to the tomb; amid poverty, amid our temptations, amid our problems and our choices, amid our adversaries and disappointments. He dwelt among us!

Thirty-three years on planet Earth was not long, but it was certainly long enough for Him to sweep aside all charges levelled against Him by unbelievers and sceptics that think God to be aloof and insensitive to the plight of you and me, His creation. He met and did life as you and I do life. He called on no spiritual power that is not at our disposal to battle His own moral struggles. He performed no miracles to extricate Himself from any difficulty. He had the strength to restrain the power at His fingertips, holding and only using it for the meeting of human need in others. He never performed a miracle just to show His power or to confound an antagonist. He didn’t think that because He was God in human form, His divine nature would prevent Him from feeling just as keenly as we do. He only too well knew the hurts and sorrows that from time to time are the experience of every single one of us.

He feels for us because He has felt like us. This is something that is not only amazing, because the Son of God became human, but it provides for me great comfort because it helps me to realise my Lord and Saviour knows what it is like to be a human being! This is not the trait of a distant, aloof God. Rather it reflects God’s heart to be deeply connected with each of us in a personal relationship.

One of the great privileges that Heathdale Staff and I have each day is to help our students to contemplate the wonder of the fact that God knows exactly how they feel! We count it a privilege to daily help our students understand that our Lord and Saviour is not a remote God. It’s not a case of Him up there, us down here and never shall the twain meet! No, He is here living here right with us in each and every moment and knows what it is to be human. Being human along with all its triumphs and trials is something Jesus doesn’t know or understand.

My prayer is that today you too may come to know and experience this reality that Jesus is not distant. Rather, He knows what it means to be human and desires to be connected close with each of us.

Ross Grace Executive Principal