While the incarnation is a unique event in Christian theology, the experience of embodiment is not. I have found the image of the Word made flesh to be a powerful paradigm for seeing the experience of my minimally verbal children, both in their relationships with me and their expression of faith.
Respecting neurodiversity means not starting with an assumption of what people want or need. Christian discipleship always happens within a specific context. Start with the people who are present and adjust the practices accordingly. It is more complicated than a standard way of discipleship but it is a way that respects that different ways God has created us.
My plea is that congregations will continue to have online worship services long after the pandemic is over.
But then I actually talked to the people I was trying to protect. While I was enjoying my coffee and car rides with my wife, some of my people were stuck at home alone, often with no access to our online services.
I had ideas when he was born of what his adulthood would be like. Reality will be different than my imagination.
I felt the presence of God so much more at the Family Retreat than I had anywhere else in recent years. Seeing so many people of all abilities joining together to make a joyful noise was a powerful experience. The love for God in that room was so strong that it was almost overwhelming. It felt like a preview of heaven.
My prayer for all five our children, those with and without autism, is that God would reveal himself in a way that they would understand.
I know, as a parent of two children with autism, that it is much easier to just stay home. The fact that this family attends church regularly is already a "win."