During April we're exploring the Purpose of Jesus. This past Sunday we talked about the bodily resurrection of Jesus and it's significance. I wasn't going to write a Musings today because I was tired and grieving. You see, last week we had to unexpectedly put down our 8.5-year-old beloved Doberman, Jesse. He was an amazing dog. He was always full of life. I would so often say, "He never got the memo that he wasn't a puppy anymore." More so than any other dog I've ever known, and I've known a bunch, he was always just plain happy to be alive- his stumpy (aka tail) literally never stopped wagging. Even when he got in trouble he would sheepishly come back wagging his "stumpy" and give you that, "are we good yet" look with big brown eyes. He never stopped following me around, picking up a sock here or a shoe there bringing them and saying, "want this...come and get it!" Long after he should have slowed down, he simply didn't. He would walk every morning with "mom" and then hope that it was an evening when "dad" would take him for a 4-mile run. He seemed to soak every drop of love, life, and enjoyment he could get. Last Tuesday afternoon, the day before he died, he was playing with the other dogs in the backyard, romping around, poking at one here, nudging the other there, chasing my girls for a pat, or trying to sneak in a "kiss," generally making his usual nuisance of himself. He never stopped enjoying life until he couldn't squeeze any more out. You see, his heart was breaking--it was literally breaking down. By Wednesday morning he could barely walk without gasping for breath. We don't know how long his heart had been that way, maybe years. Regardless, he squeezed all he could out of life until his heart literally gave out. He lived fully alive, stumpy wagging, every day in a body that likely should have given out long ago.
So what does Jesse have to do with the Purpose of Jesus? Or the purpose of a physical resurrection? Perhaps nothing or perhaps everything. Christ rose physically- he didn't appear as a ghost or some type of ethereal projection. He was flesh and blood and yet not the same as before (John 20 ). Perhaps the risen Christ was showing us what God wanted us to know from the beginning...God is manifested/revealed (incarnated) through tangible creation. God wanted to be seen and known in the fleshy and earthy substances of creation (Rom 1:20). God wanted us to tangibly know that bodies and creation contain and reveal the Spirit's image (Gen. 1). If that's the case, then Jesse revealed God's playful, relentless joy and love for life and humankind that never gives up. A love and joy, that despite a heart that was breaking, kept on living to the fullest, looking for the next face to kiss. So looking at it this way, maybe Jesse's life and death do have everything to do with the purpose of Christ....I wonder how our lives would be different if we remembered to look to see how God is being revealed in each face, creature, or plant we meet?
Reflect this week:
What, or Who, do I see?