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Incarnate Christ Jesus

by davesandel on April 7th, 2012

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Easter Vigil

Romans 6:9-11

Christ, raised from the dead, dies no more.  Death no longer has power over him.  As to his death, he died to sin once and for all; as to his life, he lives for God.  Consequently, you too must think of yourselves as being dead to sin and living for God in Christ Jesus.

In our church the pastor would say, “God is good.”  And the congregation says back to him, “All the time.”  And the pastor says, “All the time,” and we return with “God is good!”

We have to know that in our group there is someone with cancer.  Someone is being divorced, and someone is being abused.  Others are bitter or afraid, and someone is grieving the death of a child or husband or wife or mother or father or friend.

There as many tragic circumstances as there are scenarios for them.  Everything happens all the time to someone.

I often say that God is good.  But the words are most powerful when we say them together.  When I am sick you pray for me, and when you need me I stand up for you.  When I am struck numb with grief or fear, you hold me and cry with me.  When you are joyful and happy at your good fortune, I am too.

It is as a group of individuals that we remain creative and faithful, following Jesus, being the body of Christ together.

Listen to Ronald Rolheiser, writing in The Holy Longing: “We grasp only the smallest tip of this great iceberg, the mystery of the incarnation … The incarnation is still going on and it is just as real and as radically physical as when Jesus of Nazareth, in the flesh, walked the dirt roads of Palestine … God takes on flesh so that every home becomes a church, every child becomes the Christ-child, and all food and drink become a sacrament … God, in his many-faced face, has become as accessible and visible as the nearest water tap.”

He continues, “At the ascension the physical body of Jesus left this earth, but the body of Christ did not … The body of Christ means three things: Jesus, the historical person; the Eucharist, and the body of believers … The body of believers does not represent Christ; it is Christ …

Both theists and Christians believe in God, but a Christian believes in a God who is incarnate.  That is to say, a Christian believes in a God in heaven who is also physically present on this earth inside of human beings.  The Christian God can be seen, heard, felt, tasted, and smelled through the senses.  The Christian God has some skin.”

The consequences of this incarnation within us are far-reaching and wonderful.  While we make a vigil, waiting for the return of Jesus, we are together the body of Christ.  We can be aware not just of Jesus’ absence, but of each other’s presence.  We are God’s love to each other.  And God is nearer than ever.

We give thanks to you, Lord, for you are good, and your mercy endures forever.  Let us say it over and over: “Your mercy endures forever!” Joyfully we shout out our deliverance.  We shall not die but live, and declare the wonderful things that you have done.  This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.  (Psalm 118)

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