Chosen Flesh

Chosen Flesh

Author: The Rev. Dr. David L. Bridges, Priest
July 15, 2020

“The Word became flesh and stayed for a little while among us …” (John 1:14a; TIB) Christians understand the “Word” as being the pre-incarnate Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ. The first verse of John chapter 1 tells us, “… The Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (John 1:1)

Therefore, God became flesh and stayed with us for a while. I am almost 60 years old, and I don’t feel old, but I do feel more pain than I did as a younger man. I find myself asking, “why would God want to inhabit flesh with all of its pain?”

And it is not just the pain of injury or illness, but the pain of hunger, anger, division, lost relationships, and all of that messy human stuff, that makes me wonder, why? Wouldn’t it be enough for God to just “fix” the problem and skip the part about becoming flesh?

Perhaps, but there might have always been someone come along and say “it’s not fair.” Someone could have said, “I don’t know how God can judge humans if God has never been a human.”

Maybe that was part of the plan; for God to become one of us in order to understand us. What an amazing thought! While many people are “afraid’ of God, it is refreshing to think of a God that doesn’t mind getting “down in the dirt with us.” But why?

I believe God is not the mean taskmaster that many present God to be. To get another image of God, think of an inventor. The inventor spends vast amounts of time “creating” something new. The inventor is successful by nurturing the idea or plan; thinking-through how to make the invention the best it can be.

My image of God is similar. The Creator, regardless of what method is used (I think creation and evolution are the same thing), nurtures the creation like the most detailed and passionately involved inventor ever. Think of the Creator as an explorer within the creation.

The Gospel story tells us that part of the plan was to end the human fear of death, by providing a way to live forever in a spirit form. That idea is embraced by most religious traditions. The problem, on the human level, is that there are those individuals and groups that exercise control over the process.

They teach that the Creator has provided the gift of everlasting life in spirit form, but it is administered by a certain person, church, or organization, and there is a cost involved. There is an old joke about a TV preacher that says, “God needs your money, and here’s my address.”

I believe the Creator chose flesh because the Creator loves the creation. I believe, as did St. Paul, that nothing can separate us from the love of God. I believe God is not a mean ogre, as many claim God to be. Pass it on.

Blessings and Peace to You All,
Fr. David+


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