Are You "All In"?
Scripture: So we are always confident; even though we know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord --for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yes, we do have confidence, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him.--2 Corinthians 5:6-9
"Who’d Have Thought I’d Know You This Way", By Donnie McClurkin & Marvin Winans
There is an academic tension running through the threads of the New Testament, between the Gnostic worldview and that of the Hebrews. These Gentile converts were philosophers, thinkers, and they sought, in the first century, to fit this new Christianity into their long held beliefs about the self contained human who is spirit, has a soul and lives in the body. The deal breaker, for these new believers, was to convince themselves and others that because it was their spirits, which God solely communed with, actions emanating from their souls, the emotional locus, or their flawed bodies were not counted against them.
Counter to this argument, the much older tradition of the Hebrews demonstrates that the body, soul and spirit are all tied together, inextricably. In other words, what effects one effects all. As a woman, I can witness to the veracity of this viewpoint. There are days and even weeks of the month when I find myself a little more irritable or unable to sleep. Most of us, male or female can attest to times of body stress which challenge our moods and even our faith. Those connections, which are part of our fearful and wonderful make-up, help bind us to each other, to God and to the rest of creation. We are not just brains waiting to break out of our “earthly shells”. Paul reminds us in 2 Corinthians, that the ultimate act of incarnation was not to think about our sin issues, but for Jesus to exploit his body, soul and spirit to create the new, redeemed being God was longing for. “For the love of Christ always answers that the final death was for everybody, eternal.” – 2 Corinthians 5:14 ( a personal translation)
We are poised, in this body, with these feelings and thoughts and our ever reconciling spirits, to know God and ourselves in ways that are unique to our situation. Yes, we “groan” to be fully present with God; but also cherish the gift that the incarnation has given us in this life.
Prayer: Oh God, our desire is to please you. Show us faithfulness in whatever we find ourselves in for your glory in all the world. Amen.
The Reverend Dr. Cynthia McCullough