Friday, December 20, 2019

20. And the Word became flesh...

This is perhaps the most extraordinary part of the Prologue, the part John has been leading up to. He has told us about this Word, God himself, Creator of the universe, who made and sustains all things, and yet now, the Word becomes flesh, born as a vulnerable, helpless child in Bethlehem. For his first hearers this would have been extraordinary. Jewish people were brought up to regard God as so holy that his name could not even be uttered. Only the High Priest could enter the Holy of Holies in the centre of the Temple complex, where God’s presence was thought to dwell. No one could see God and live.  Greek philosophy thought of God as pure spirit, unchangeable, incapable of suffering. Flesh was seen as inferior, something which would be gladly cast off at death.  The idea that God would willingly become flesh was puzzling and shocking. And yet, this is what had happened, said John. God had entered into his creation (or perhaps revealed himself in a creation he had already been part of?) He had felt what we feel, suffered as we suffer, died as we die. “What if God was one of us?” sang Joan Osborne “Just a stranger on the bus, trying to make his way home?” In Jesus, that is just what the Gospels tell us happened – God became a human being, someone you might see on the bus (or the donkey!), someone who you could touch, see and hear.

How do you feel about your flesh, your body? Is it a source of delight or anxiety to you?
Right now, how does your body feel? Spend a few minutes being aware of what you are seeing, hearing, touching, tasting and smelling with it.
Why do you think it mattered that “the Word became flesh”? How does it change our idea of God?

Draw a body, or around your own body. Thank God for all the amazing things it can do.

No comments:

Post a Comment