The Embodied God

Fairly often, I run across something that makes my soul say, “yes, yes, yes!” (No, not like Sally in the deli from When Harry Met Sally. Get your head out of the gutter. It’s not very much like that at all. Not really. . . Much. . .)

Anyhow, I’ve been meaning to do a better job passing along such things to y’all. Cuz who couldn’t do with a little more “yes, yes, yes” in their soul?

From Nadia Bolz-Weber:

Instead of a religion revealed through philosophical constructs – easily reasoned out and understood, instead we get a God inconveniently revealed in people, and food and wine and water and bodies and pies and oil and beer. When God chose to come and take on human flesh and walk the earth and break bread with friends it was as though God was baptizing the material.  As though to say “stop looking for me in the heavens when you aren’t even close to understanding the majesty of a loaf of bread” or as Jesus puts it, if you can’t understand earthly things you’ll never understand heavenly things.

You can read the rest of the message here. But I wanted to share this part in particular. I’ve written before about letting go of the idea of the sacred and the profane. A lot of Christians are afraid to do this because they’ve been taught to fear the world. They think that the world is sullied and dangerous to believers. But Jesus’ teachings and example demonstrate just the opposite.

God didn’t redeem us as a disembodied light speaking from the clouds at us. He redeemed us by joining us here in creation. Which means that God, who is incompatible with darkness, evil and sin, had no problem living within creation. These bodies and bodily functions and drink and food and illness and menstrual problems are not incompatible with God. In fact, they testify to God.  That’s a pretty remarkable thing, if you take it seriously.

If we want to testify to God, then we’re going to have to learn to testify to God in this material world. The bible says that the created world testifies to God. Perhaps our job is to learn to recognize God at work in creation all around us. Not in spectacular miracles or times when creation doesn’t work the way it normally does. But in the everyday. In bread rising or a seed sprouting. Maybe even in other human beings. Perhaps even in ourselves.

We don’t have to be afraid of the world. It’s good enough for God, after all.

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