As a father, I find great joy in seeing the ways that my kids are like me. Part of it is simply amusing and sometimes cringe-worthy, but there is a deeper part of me that enjoys seeing my appearance, idiosyncrasies, and passions passed down. My older son is my clone in a lot of ways. His hair and face are mirrors of my own, he understands that board games should be meticulously out back in the box, and that sports and competition should not be taken lightly.
I wonder if God finds that same joy in seeing his children reflect his nature and character. After all, it was Jesus’ desire that we go into the world in the same way that he went into the world. In John 17:18, John records Jesus prayer to his father. He was pray- ing for us when he said, “As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world.” If you are a follower of Jesus, you are a sent one. You are called to embody and carry the message of the gospel.
Our common sent-ness is exhibited in two primary ways. We are sent to live in the way of Jesus. That means we embody his love, his hope, and his gentleness. (see Matthew 5:43-44) As we read the scriptures and see the way Jesus approached life, we are called to live in the same way. The way we carry the message is a part of the message itself. Secondly, we are sent to bring the gospel of Jesus. Paul summarized this dimension of our sent-ness when he quoted the prophet Isaiah writing, “And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” (Romans 10:15) When we have the same approach as Jesus and carry the mes- sage of Jesus, we start to take on his characteristics – we look like him.
Jesus is sending his Church into the world in the same way the father sent him into the world. During this Advent season, reenter the story and life of Jesus. Look for ways that he was sent, and then ask Jesus what it would look like to emulate that in your own life. As a Father, God loves it when he sees his children living like him and imitating his character.