by Dr. Taliilee Fiqruu, Frontier Fellowship Associate Director
John opens his Gospel narrative with a “second Genesis” account. He speaks of the Word, present from the beginning, who was with God and was God. All things were created through this Word. John is describing Jesus, the eternal Word of God.
God has always been active in human history—calling creation into existence, rescuing His people from bondage, speaking through the law and the prophets. He becomes even more intimately involved as Jesus takes on human flesh and literally dwells among us.
When God “move[s] into the neighborhood” (John 1:14 MSG), He makes His home in our cultures and contexts. Because humanity is created in His image, each person and every people group bears His likeness. The grace and truth of Jesus don’t neutralize our backgrounds and circumstances—instead He comes to restore and revitalize us into joyful relationship with the Father.
In a rural Arsi Oromo community in Ethiopia, a small church gathers to worship but doesn’t use the local language. Instead, they preach in Amharic, the national language. One day, a Light of Hope Ministry Ethiopia team asked the villagers about the church. The neighbors responded, “We don’t know what they do, but they come, they sing and they leave.”
If we don’t identify with and make our home among the people we’re called to reach, how can we effectively communicate the love of God? Jesus models to us the importance of identification with the people to whom He’s called us to carry the Good News. By learning their language and culture, we can effectively communicate the joyful message of Jesus and His Kingdom.
Are there people in your community who don’t share your culture or language? Learn their names. Ask them to teach you how to say “hello” and “thank you” in their language. Invite them to meet you for a cup of coffee. Practice the incarnation of Jesus by sacrificing your comfort to share the realities of their lives—meeting and loving them where they are.
Read more from our Advent devotional series.