Have you seen Jesus? God in the neighborhood, God on the move, Jesus is never just in our corner of the world. Jesus is God all over the place. Sight unseen by his latest disciples and yet seen in our neighbor and the stranger’s face. Our vision of him is a work in progress.
We still struggle to see every body as made in the Imago Dei, the image of God.
My body is the gospel in progress and I hope yours is too.
I still #RunwithMaud. I still wake up sometimes and think of Breonna Taylor’s last night on earth. I still hear George Floyd’s last words and Elijah McClain’s unnecessary defense of his character. I still say all of their names.
The work of justice is still in progress.
This morning, I am thinking of the work ahead and the progress we have yet to make to become one as Jesus prayed (John 17.21). How Christians read the same scriptures but are not on the same page. We are divided into conservatives, moderates and progressives. Unity remains a process.
My guests and I talked about the bodywork ahead in season two of the podcast. I continue to write about it in my weekly column at Good Faith Media and and to talk it out with God in prayer. Jesus is closest to me here. Each time I say, Amen,” I feel God’s ‘kin- dom’ coming near.
Because I do believe that the gospel is in progress, that God is in the neighborhood, on the move and not stuck in our corner of the world. So I prayed these words this morning.
God, who is Spirit though embodied in Jesus the Christ, not because he was the right flesh tone but the perfect sacrifice for sins to atone. Forgive us for our bodies work against Your Spirit, unable to move freely. Trapped underneath two millimeters of epidermis, .07 inches, this skin really isn’t that deep. And yet, it divides; body borders are long and wide.
We can’t get around them. Our bodies get in the way of who You are. Won’t You remind us of who You are and who we are in You? Living souls, little spirits, draped in epidermis. We divide over cosmetics, costuming, over aesthetic.
But we crossed our hearts and were supposed to die in those baptismal waters with Jesus the Christ. Yet our bodies did not float to the top. Dead weight, carnal cages, we are trapped in traditions with the keys on our hip. Shaking our finger at younger generations that don’t want to get in or in on it.
Because this is not how Your body works—divided, hierarchal, colored in.
Because we are supposed to “live, move and have our being” in You (Acts 17.28).
Please deliver us from the body of this death (Romans 7.24)!
In the name of Jesus, God’s bodywork, we pray.