This past Sunday we talked about what it means to be "embodied people." The dictionary definition of embody is, "em·bod·y əmˈbädē/verb past tense: embodied; past participle: embodied 1. to be an expression of or give a tangible or visible form to (an idea, quality, or feeling)." So to be an embodied people, in terms of Christian faith, is to be people who make God visible or tangible. What is so beautiful about this is that each of us, regardless of our talents, abilities, gifting, intellect, or status can embody God. So often it is only a matter of allowing our ego, and preconceived ways of thinking and acting to get out of the way so that we can embody God.
As I write this the cleaners for the church are here. We use a cleaning service that employs physically and emotionally challenged adults, along with their coaches. There is one young man, around 25 years old, whose name is Justin. Justin cannot speak, walk or interact normally. He totters unsteadily and makes noises that cause others to stare as he empties our trash cans. Over the years I have come to know, trust and love Justin. He seems to take great pride in emptying the trash cans and being part of the team. He will now look me in the eye, which is his way of saying hello. Today I even got a smile! You see, Justin, just as you and I (and perhaps more so), embodies Christ. Justin is wholly and truly himself, as such he reflects Christ to those who are willing to see. Each week, if I stop and pay attention, Justin reminds me to see a bigger, truer picture of God. A picture of God who loves and cares for all of us, including Justin, and who has given him and us infinite worth and value, regardless of anything external.
Paul reminds us that "our life is now hidden in Christ and when Christ, who is our life, appears, then you also will appear with Him" (Col 3:3-4). Unlike Justin, who is wholly present, for many of us this allowing "Christ to appear" seems to be the work we need to do. So often we allow the externals- our agendas, appearance, schedules, and ego to drive us so that there is little room for Christ to appear. The externals too often take precedence in our lives, especially during the holiday season. In reality, Christmas is about the appearance (the embodiment of God- aka Love) in Jesus and not any external value we may place on it. Perhaps this season we can slow down enough to hear the invitation to allow Christ to appear to us so that we too can allow Him to appear to others through our lives, love, and actions.
Reflect this week:
Am I allowing Christ to appear?
By Babs May-Clark