Saturday, November 28, 2009

The Incarnation

Artwork from

(If you receive our prayer letters you'll see this in your mailbox in a few days.)

This year, as I look forward to our first Christmas in Bucharest, the Incarnation has become more personal.  I stumbled across this realization in the most unlikely of places - the middle of a long-winded lecture to my daughter.  She had disobeyed, I had corrected and she had made the mistake of telling me that she "just HAD to do it."  Her statement was true.  Raising two children has dissolved any doubts that may have lurked in the deepest corners of my mind about the existence of our inherent sin natures.  Her mistake lay in starting a discussion with her mother because her mother was in the mood to talk and launched into a very.long.lecture.  I touched on the aforementioned sin nature and the power of the Holy Spirit to help us obey.  And then, since I was on a roll and we still had a couple blocks left to walk before we reached home, I launched into a treatise on how God understands how hard it is for us to obey.  And that's when I realized ... He understands it all.

We moved here to Bucharest from Minnesota, where we lived with my family for a year and a half.  My children saw their grandparents and cousins daily.  In spite of the blessings of Skype and phone calls, we still miss them and Joshua's family in Michigan intensely.  Jesus left heaven, the glorious face-to-face fellowship with God the Father, to come to earth and spend His first few years here hanging out with a teenage mom and a carpenter.  Our move can't even compare.

Language study is challenging.  Every conversation in Romanian requires every ounce of mental capacity we possess ... and even then we still are misunderstanding and misunderstood.  Jesus, the Word, came to earth as a speechless baby.  If He had an ear infection in his infancy He just had to scream and hope that Mary could figure it out like every mother and baby the world over.  Then, when He could speak, He was never fully understood.  No one got Him. His closest friends needed His parables explained.  He spoke spiritual language in a land of humans. He knows how hard it is to communicate cross-culturally.

Some days I feel pulled in twenty a hundred different directions.  Family, ministry, language study, friends, team.  Everyone needs something from me and I can't make any of them happy.  Jesus was followed by crowds of thousands of people.  They seemed to show up at the worst possible times, when He was most exhausted.  And He chose to love them and still make time to spend alone with His Father.

I could go on and on, but you get the picture.  For ever frustration, large or small, we don't have to look far in the life of Jesus to realize that He gets it. He's been here.  He's lived it.  And He doesn't ask anything of us that He hasn't done Himself on an infinitely larger scale in the Incarnation.

For any struggles we have with out new life in Romania there are a myriad of blessings that come with it.  We are thrilled to be here, certain that this is where God wants us, and wouldn't want to be anywhere else.  Next month we'll write a year in review and let you know some of the exciting opportunities that God put in our path. 

Merry Christmas!
Kara (for the Dunckels)