Pastor’s Pen for March 2018

Written by Pastor's Pen - February 27, 2018 0 Comments

The Pastor’s Pen

Have you ever considered just how “physical” the Christian faith is? Have you ever reflected on the extent to which Christianity might be called an “embodied” religion? Unlike many of the world’s religions, which speak of God as an unembodied spirit, at the heart of the Christian faith is the remarkable good news that in the person of Jesus of Nazareth, God became a human being. God took on flesh and blood and came among us in bodily form.

That’s what we celebrate at Christmas. God, the creator of the universe, took up residence in Mary’s womb and was born into the world in about as earthy a way as possible – not in a hospital delivery room, but in a damp, dark stable surrounded by animals. And then, for the next thirty years, God walked the earth as a child, as a teenager, as a young adult, as a man. God was fully and completely a physical, flesh and blood, human being.

Later this month, as we remember the events of Holy Week, God’s physical, embodied nature will be on full display. On Maundy Thursday, we will hear how Jesus took a basin of water and a towel, knelt down, and washed the feet of his disciples. We will recall, too, how Jesus took the bread and wine of the Jewish Passover meal and offered them to the disciples as his body and blood.

On Good Friday, we will remember how Jesus experienced in his flesh the excruciating pain of the lashes, of the crown of thorns, of the nails. And we will watch with the women as Jesus’ broken and beaten body is laid in a tomb.

And then, on Easter Sunday, we will rejoice in the good news that Jesus was raised bodily.  It wasn’t a ghost that appeared to the disciples. It was the flesh and blood Jesus, the one who bore in his body the marks of the nails and the spear.

So why did God enter our world in the flesh?  Why did God take on our physical human nature? Why did God leave his heavenly throne to experience the full range of bodily human existence? In the answer to that question we find the heart of the gospel itself. It was to redeem flesh and blood human beings. It was to reconcile us to himself. It was so that you and I, along with all creation, might belong to God forever.

Why it had to be that way – why God had to become one of us in order to save us – is a mystery we can’t fully comprehend. But during Lent and Holy Week especially, we both celebrate and stand in awe of that mystery. God loves us so much that he became one of us – all the way to being buried in a grave.

I invite you to join us for worship – on Sunday mornings, on Wednesday evenings, and during our Holy Week and Easter services – as we encounter the mystery and wonder of the God who became flesh for us.

Lenten blessings,

Pastor Selbo

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