Sometimes I hear conversations or homilies and I get worried that we have a rather thin idea of our relationship to Jesus Christ. For example, it is said that we are called to imitate Christ, to 'follow in his footsteps' as St. Francis would say. Of course this is quite true, and the imitatio Christi is a venerable and indispensable part of Christian spirituality and practice. But again, sometimes I feel like it becomes theologically thin and impoverished.
Christ is not primarily a moral example. It's not as if he emptied himself, taught, healed, reconciled, and cast out demons all in a humble manner, finally going quietly to his death, entering into the depths of suffering and the alienation from God we have insisted upon for ourselves with our sins, just so that he could leave us an example of how to be a godly human being. It is all that, of course, but the revelation of God in Christ is much more.
We do not become humble and godly because we follow the example of Christ in the simple sense of moral example. We become humble and godly because we consent to have our own personalities transformed by and into the charity and humility of Christ. We are not just following an example; we are allowing the Exemplar Himself to become our own new and renovated selves. This is what it means to be baptized into the death of Christ, and to become his Body in the Eucharist.
It is precisely this theologically dense sense of Christ-ianity that I don't always hear in preaching or conversation. It's too bad; because this is the real good news. If the main thing is my having to imitate a Christ who is separate from ourselves, we are doomed. That's not good news, given my sins. We try to be godly not in order to achieve a salvation that is available to the good, but instead as an act of thanksgiving for a salvation already accomplished for the sake of the evil.
If our sense of our relationship to Jesus Christ is only one of moral example, then we have forgotten what Incarnation and Sacraments even mean.