Monday, October 20, 2008

A Trustworthy Saying (or "I feel like doing a little exegesis")

Here is a trustworthy saying:

If we have died with him, we will also live with him;
if we endure, we will also reign with him;
if we deny him, he also will deny us;
if we are faithless, he remains faithful --

for he cannot deny himself.


Is not that last sentence especially a great wonder? It means so much more than simply that God will be faithful to us. He will be faithful why? Because He cannot deny himself! What does this mean. God has made us part of Himself. That can sound so trivial, but think about it! So much a part of God that to deny us would be to deny himself - that's how the Eternal Creator sees me and you. Is there any pain we feel that He does not? Is there any sleepless night that He does not also keep vigil? Is there any longing hope which He does not also either delight to fill or share our ache at it's delay or denial, though the denial may be for our good? When we laugh, does the Divine Trinity not laugh with our joy? When we hurt our neighbor, does He not take both the blow and the sentence for it upon himself?

Would a man willingly cut off his arm? Would he strike himself? Would he inflict hurt or damage upon his body? God has made me part of himself. Why should I fear that he will harm me? Why should I fear that he will deny me my heart's longings? God cannot do to me without doing to Himself. "He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us, how much more will he, along with him, freely give us all good things?" (paraphrase)

All Humanity is united to Deity in Christ. God's flesh has taken upon itself all human woe. Deity has died. And it is not as though in taking upon himself humanity that Christ took up a burden which he set down in his resurrection or discarded in His ascension. Humanity is part of His very Being. God is Flesh. His Flesh is God. And that Flesh is in me! God is in me - not just some vague spiritual force within my heart but in my very flesh. When Christ gives us his Flesh to eat, he gives us divine humanity to eat. We are joined not just to Christ's divinity but to his humanity in a real way. We share his humanity, not as one shares a cookie - by dividing or getting a piece of, but by being, by incorporation into, by receiving substance. It is truly no longer we who live. Christ has taken on our flesh and he puts his flesh on us. We are "little Christs" - Christians. Our bodies are sanctified for the resurrection because they are Christ's body. Our life is hidden with Christ in God. That life is both our spirit and our body for now God is not only spirit, but body.

When Christians say that Christ lives in them I wonder if we really understand what they are saying. Do we often think that God's indwelling is only an incorporeal peace which is sometimes felt or an inward nudge when making a decision, or a prick of conscience? Is it more than that? Could we possibly speak of God dwelling in our body as well?

And I ramble. I was only going to post a verse and get back to homework. Now I've rambled on to uncertainty. Ah well, I forget where I was going with all that, and I'm not sure I haven't speculated too much anyway, but I haven't posted anything for a while, so I will foolishly post without proofreading and editing four times.

1 comment:

Rev. Rick Stuckwisch said...

Well said, Truth Questioner. Thanks for the lovely confession of the Gospel this evening.