Well, that’s life! These words can often be heard after something bad or unlucky has happened. People frequently use these two short words to express their feelings or attitude towards something. I know that I use this phrase more often than I should because once and a while I hear my kids using it. A toy breaks, a cup of milk spills, someone doesn’t get a part in the school play or we miss an opportunity to see a rainbow, “oh well, that’s life!” When something bad happens and we have no control to change it our inclination is to chalk it up as a lesson learned.
Reading through the book of Luke I see a number of examples of “that’s life” as we follow the story of Christ’s life and ministry, but from a slightly different perspective. Let me give you some examples: In Luke 4 we read about Jesus healing Simon’s mother-in-law, in Luke 5 we hear about Jesus calling his disciples. In Luke 7 Jesus raises the son of a widow from the dead, Luke 9 recounts the incredible story of the feeding of the 5000 and Luke 17 records the miraculous healing of 10 Lepers. Of course there are many more stories recorded in the book of Luke, but when we look at these together we can see that in every case these things happened during the everyday happenings of life. There was no committee to plan the feeding of the 5000, the lepers called to Jesus as he was walking by and He just happened to be at Simon’s house when his mother-in-law was sick. My point is this, as Jesus lived among the people, much of the impact He had on their lives happened in the events of everyday real life.
Through our relationship with Christ, we are called to live as He did. The word incarnation means to “take on flesh”, Christ took on our flesh to live among us, to be an example for us and ultimately to die for us so that we can be saved. For us to live an incarnational life today means to reflect Christ’s life in our own. It is in our day to day interactions, our conversations, our attitudes and relationships that shape how people see Christ in us. We won’t get to know people and share in their stories if we are not “on the road” with them. In order for us to have an unforgettable, God honouring impact on our community, a place where people know that they matter to God and to us, we need to go out and be a part of that community.