Radiating Life Resurrected Light
By Andrew Goins
The God whose “center is nowhere and whose circumference is everywhere” expressed His infinity in His intimacy. Jesus clothed Himself in humanity to become the life and light of the world. Radiant life. Resurrected light. God pitched His tent among us. God dwells among us. This is the mighty mystery of the incarnation.
God tried to communicate His love, but “If communication is not what you say but what people hear, then what we [God] said was warped and wrenched into distancing prescriptions that had no heart.” ~Micheal Moynahan
God spoke into being creation, through His Word, Jesus the Christ. God spoke to Israel, but Israel warped and wrenched God’s Word. Big ideas. Philosophies. Abstractions. Concepts. God, in His suspicion of big ideas and philosophies, came as the light and life of the world, to bring peace to the world through disassembling.
“I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.” ~C.S. Lewis
Christ came to illuminate the world. The world was dark and dim. Chaotic and corrupt. Creation wronged, and the people wrung out like a dishrag that is dry of water and soap, unable to do the thing for which it was created. The dishrag was made for cleaning the kitchen that is creation. God is the cleaner/gardener, we are the dishrags/tools created for co-cleaning. When Christ came, we wronged creation and were ourselves wrung of God’s goodness implanted inside us. God came. Abided. Pitched His tent. Not as a big idea or intellectual idealism. God Himself came clothed in humanity to wet these dried-out dishrags.
“Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.” Acts 2:2-4
Tongues of fire came to the rest of each of them. Jesus came to set our hearts on fire to set the world on fire. This world is tender, and don’t worry, the Holy Spirit’s fire is going before us like gasoline so that our fiery hearts can ignite! We are here to burn up the whole earth as Christ incarnates himself through us, the church, in His fiery love.
Shining and shimmering. Gleaming and glimmering. We are the people of God that shines brightly, like a city on a hill that cannot and will not be hidden. The fire within us is the resurrection light and radiant life of Jesus. The infinite nature of God will “flame out, like shining from shaken foil” in us and through us. Like an explosion expanding what was into what could be. Like an implosion; the God who has no center makes His center in Us. The infinite imploding in the intimate friendship of Jesus and you!
God spoke His word in sending Jesus, the Word. Just as in Genesis 1, God’s word always brings about life. As Thomas Merton writes “Space and time are the dance of the Lord in emptiness.” God’s speaking is the dancing. God dances in dark places, warming cold spaces through His tender graces. God’s delightful dance is danced that His light and life might create cosmos (the greek word for order) out of chaos.
Mary, laboring in affliction and agony of love, looks for a home to have her baby. People turn her down. They keep her out as a stubborn act of withholding. They are not merely denying a temporary home for a pregnant woman, but metaphorically keeping God’s word from their home. From their hearts. Two things. First, a way in which we receive God’s word is through generosity. Receiving and giving. Giving and receiving. It is the inhaling (receiving from God) and exhaling (giving to others) of the Christian life. We receive God’s word to us through inhabiting the life of Christianity. Giving generously because we have been given to. In keeping Mary, Joseph, and Jesus out, they stopped breathing. They refused to receive it. They died.
How does Mary receive God’s word?
“I am the Lord’s servant…May your word to me be fulfilled.” Luke 1:38
In hearing God’s word to her. Receiving. How does Mary respond? In offering up the whole of herself. Heart, mind, soul, and strength.
I invite you to pray Mary’s prayer periodically daily, hourly, and moment by moment. Opening up your body and soul to God, so that God can re-form your de-formed soul. So that God can transform your de-formed body. Pray this prayer as a rebellious refusal to withhold from God and others. Pray this prayer as a stubborn submission to an infinite and intimate God who has chosen your heart to make His home.
Andrew Goins is on staff for a campus ministry at Appalachian State University called Ratio Christi. He also works as a youth leader and worship leader at Arbor Dale Presbyterian Church in Banner Elk.
Andrew is committed to simply and thoroughly loving his wife Bethany, growing in his bible nerdiness, delighting in good books (theology, poetry, and select fiction), music, photography, creation, and in gathering people together for bible studies, a shared meal, or making music.
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