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Toward Wholeness Blog

Permission to enjoy life: Granted

“Come and have breakfast.”  It’s a simple statement embedded in the story that billions believe has changed the trajectory of history forever – the resurrection of Jesus.  The bit about breakfast might easily be lost on us because of the larger framework of the resurrection, and the restoration of Peter to faith after he’d failed Christ by denying him.  But the meal and the wounds in Jesus side aren’t incidental décor; they’re telling us something vital about the nature of our life in Christ and where history’s headed.

The resurrected Jesus is embodied.  The person that rose from the grave left empty sheets in the tomb.  This means that Jesus appeared among his disciples as a whole person.  His glorified body could walk through walls, but it was a body nonetheless.  “Touch the scars” is what Jesus said to the doubter.

We will be embodied.  Jesus’ body, out from the tomb, was called the first fruits.  Today we’d call it the prototype.  It means that we can have a confidence in our own future beyond death by looking at Jesus life beyond death because we’ll share in his destiny, and his destiny was, and is, bodily.  His resurrection, though was more than just a prototype, it was the beginning of his reign, the beginning of what will reach final culmination in Revelation when we read of a new Jerusalem “coming down out of heaven.”  Wow.  It’s not that we’re all ultimately exiting to heaven.  It’s that heaven is coming down to earth.

I picture Christ’s reign, when heaven comes to earth, as touching and transforming everything that can be transformed, sort of the way that Aslan released the frozen statutes in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, by his breath of life.   This is why there’ll be every tear wiped from every eye, an end to disease, suffering, death, oppression, and all that sucks the life out of us:  not because we’ve escaped this world, but because this world has been transformed.

Let it begin.  This ‘embodying’ of the resurrection life can and should begin right here, right now.  It’s why we’re called to learn the subject matter of God’s reign well by studying the kingdom of God.  It’s why we’re called to live in the world, as artists, fisherman, gardeners, lawyers, teachers, doctors, nurses, baristas, advocates, musicians.  As those empowered by Christ and made new by him, we’re His Breath, the very breath of life, as the Holy Spirit moves through us to bring hope to the world.

What a contrast to Colossians 2:20, which declares that the Christian life is about:  “Do not handle, do not taste, do not touch,” as if being characterized by a negation of the world, rather than a transformation of it, will somehow make us and the world holy.  It’s not about negation.  It’s not about indiscriminant embracing.  It’s about transformation, so that vocation, meals, hobbies, love-making, and all the rest of life become sacraments, testimony of Christ’s power to transform, and hints of the life to come… a life that will unfold, not elsewhere, but here.

May Christ so fill your life this day, that you are empowered to enjoy your calling to live as a person of hope in this world, transforming what you touch as the breath God moves through you.  Amen…

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