When I was growing up in the 1970’s there were essentially only two ways to contact someone you weren’t actually sitting next to. You could either write a letter and wait days for a reply, or call them on a landline telephone and hope that they were in (because if they weren’t there was no way of leaving a message.) These days my children scoff at the idea of using a landline and rarely if ever write a letter. Now there are so many ways of getting in contact the problem is finding the message in order to reply. Was it an email, a text, an iMessage, a WhatsApp, a private message on Messenger or a Snapchat?
But while the means of communicating have multiplied and become more instant, one thing hasn’t changed: if you really want to communicate you have to go in person. Lines of text on a screen (even with emojis) or filtered photos can only ever deliver part of what the sender intends. To get the whole message there’s no substitute for looking someone in the eyes and seeing the heart behind what they say.
No wonder then that when God wanted to tell the world just how much he loved us he came in person.
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