I’m using a message from our Sunday Service, given by Pastor Dennis Friesen
Account One: Steven Kavolski grew up in middle class Canada. In comparison to the rest of the world, middle class Canada means incredibly rich. When Steven Kavolski was a young man he became a Priest and as a Priest Steven believed he was called by God to go as a missionary to the slums of Calcutta. Obeying that call, Steven Kavolski moved into a 1 metre by 2 metre hut with no windows and holes in the roof (standard for the slum). Outside the entrance to his hut (there wasn’t a door) ran a trench with pure filth flowing down it. He ate one meal a day (standard for the slum) contracted a fever and never really regained his health until the day of his death (standard for the slum) twenty years later.
Mr. Kavolski moved to the slum, applied for, and as soon as possible became a citizen of India. Steven became one with those to whom he ministered. Steven Kavolski left a virtual paradise to live and die in a slum so that he could show people the way to salvation through faith in Jesus.
Why would he do that?
Love - only love.
It is so easy to give less than our best. Many if not most Christians have motives for living, priorities for living and goals for living that are virtually identical to those of their pagan neighbours. Get more, accumulate more, spend and spend and spend on ourselves.
“Don't love the world's ways. Don't love the world's disgusting materialism. Mark my words, love of the world will squeeze out love for the Father. Practically everything that goes on in the world — wanting your own way, wanting to buy everything for yourself, wanting to appear important by what you own — these things have nothing to do with the Father. They just isolate you from God. The world and all its wanting, wanting, wanting is on the way out — but whoever does what God wants is set for eternity.” 1st John 2:15,16
The world will literally not survive if that is how we live.
Account Two: “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in exact nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made Himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man He humbled Himself and became obedient to death - even to death on a cross.” Philippians 2:5-8
We say that Jesus was God incarnate. To “incarnate” means “to become” or “to embody.” Steven Kavolski became one with or embodied what it meant to be a member of Calcutta's slum. Their life beame his life. God, became human, in and through the form of Jesus. I doubt that it’s possible for us to imagine the step down that the Creator of the universe took in becoming a human being. C.S. Lewis compared it to us volunteering to become a slug but even that hardly touches it. Rejected, humiliated, shamed, misunderstood and tortured to death, Jesus, while God, became in form, a human being. He came to earth to live and die as we live and die so that He could lead people to the way of salvation.
Why would He do that?
Love - only love.