People with disabilities have not always felt valuable. This includes the context of the church. Are disabilities just a reminder of all that is not right in the world?
But what if Jesus had a disability? I’m not suggesting that he had autism or was lame. But consider this passage:
In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:5-11)
Many people see the cross as the greatest sacrifice that Jesus experienced. But what about the incarnation? God the Son became a human being!
One of the first heresies was not doubts about Jesus’ divinity but about his humanity. Some could not believe that Jesus really became human and that he must have only seemed to be human.
But the incarnation teaches that Jesus really became human. He emptied himself. If taking on humanity with all of its limitations is not a disability, what is?
People with disabilities should not feel out of place in churches. They should feel right at home because the foundation of Christianity is about the worship of the disabled God.