Sunday, March 6, 2011

Our Matter Matters

The Word Became Flesh

John 1:1-2 

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. New International Version, ©2011 (NIV)

John 1:14
14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. New International Version, ©2011 (NIV)
lyrics to The Final Word / Michael Card
(from Joy In The Journey (1994))
You and me we use so very many clumsy words.
The noise of what we often say is not worth being heard.
When the Father’s Wisdom wanted to communicate His love,
He spoke it in one final perfect Word.

listen here

Read the passages. Listen to Michael Card sing of the incarnation and then contemplate with me the value our God places on the life of a human being.

If God did not see “flesh”  … skin, muscle, tendons, bone, nerves, heart, lungs, brain  … as that which is infinitely valuable, then He would not have sent His Son to become such a one as us. And surely the body is much much more than a temporary dwelling place for the soul while passing through on the way to eternity.

In looking back to Genesis 1, we read, starting with verse 26 :
Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”27 So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. 28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” ….31 God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.

These passages and Michael Card’s song came to mind at the end of the day in which my brother went through a 4-5 hour procedure called Leukapheresis in which they took his blood out of his body and removed white blood cells and then put the blood back. The plan is that a vaccine specific for him will be made from his white blood cells that will be used to aid his body in fighting the regrowth of the glioblastoma tumor in his brain.

(Gen 1:1-2) In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

I have a deep conviction that God is hovering over his creation still and specifically over my brother. I find wonder mixed with my anxiety and fear and heaviness as we as a family walk together and alongside Rick on this journey. I sense a creative force moving against the “Unmaker”. (The Unmaker is the main antagonist in Orson Scott Card's alternate history/fantasy series The Tales of Alvin Maker. Never directly confronted, it is a supernatural force that breaks apart matter and aims to destroy and consume everything and everyone.)

Even though I see this tumor and it’s submicroscopic army of cells as the primary weapon of destruction in this battle with the Unmaker, I know that the God of creation has already won the war. When we are not distracted completely by this intense skirmish we see God Himself walking in our midst. He is declaring that the life of Rick Witherington is of infinite value to Him. He is pouring out His love. He is shaping and forming and making new with the tools of prayer and food and lodging and science and hope and faith. In considering God’s economy, we are learning that He desires to dispense Himself into us, to dwell in us richly. We are His created people and He has chosen to make us His corporate expression in the universe for eternity.

All things destructive to life...even Glioblastoma Multiforme tumors .. have been ultimately, eternally defeated. But, for now as we continue in this place and this time … in between the two comings of Christ … where we continue to “work out our salvation” and we join together to declare what we believe:

I believe in one God, the Father Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible;
And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God,
begotten of his Father before all worlds,
God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God,
begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father;
by whom all things were made;
who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven,
and was incarnate by the Holy Ghost of the Virgin Mary,
and was made man;
and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate;
he suffered and was buried; and the third day he rose again
according to the Scriptures, and ascended into heaven,
and sitteth on the right hand of the Father;
and he shall come again, with glory, to judge both the quick and the dead;
whose kingdom shall have no end.
And I believe in the Holy Ghost the Lord, and Giver of Life,
who proceedeth from the Father [and the Son];
who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified;
who spake by the Prophets.
And I believe one holy Catholic and Apostolic Church;
I acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins;
and I look for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come. AMEN.
The Nicene Creed

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