In First Corinthians 15, St. Paul tries to present a description of the resurrection body that shall replace the mortal body. His explanation makes sense, for it concerns, not the annihilation of our present body, but the transformation of the body. Below the sensate experience, or relative perception, we can affirm, now, that mortal and immortal is a single continuum of time-space-matter. With the advances of science, specifically physics, we can no longer describe with relative language what we are theorizing to be happening at the quantum level. However, the language of Scripture, like all language, can hint at the findings we are now observing through experimentation at the quantum level of “particles” and “sub-particles.”
One such area that we will need to seek to relate Scripture to, so Scripture interpretation can be advanced and enlightened by science, pertains to the nature of the body, including all matter. Even our interpretation of the preexistent Word and the incarnation of the Word as Jesus, including the post-resurrection state of Christ, can be addressed by the science of energy. How fitting the primitive Church spoke of the Spirit of God as “energies.”
St. Paul intuits the following in his remarkable discussion of the body, along with mortality and immortality, in the Corinthian correspondence:
44It [the human body] is sown [buried] a natural [psuchikos: animal, sensuous; that is, pertaining to the senses] body; it is raised a spiritual [pneumatikos: spiritual; that is, pertaining to beyond the senses] body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. 45Thus it is written, "The first man Adam became a living being"; the last Adam [that is, Christ] became a life-giving spirit [pneuma: breath, wind, spirit, Spirit] 46But it is not the spiritual that is first but the natural, and then the spiritual. (I Corinthians 15, ESV)
The Scripture makes clear that we have life given to us. Jesus, however, being the embodiment of the Word, described as “life” in St. John 1, has life by means of being the incarnation of the Word Itself.
St. John 6 provides additional insight, using the metaphors of bread, flesh, and blood:
51I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh."
52The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, "How can this man give us his flesh to eat?" 53So Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. 54Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day." (ESV)
The way of life, according to the Gospel of John, is through assimilation. Assimilation is another term for intimacy. Through intimacy with God-in-Christ, with the Word, we receive the eternal-quality life, here and now. This life does not come through simple rite, teaching, doctrine, Bible Study, taking of sacraments, or alignment with a religious group. The way to life, says Jesus, is only through assimilation, intimacy with, life-giving spirit.
Exploring these teachings in light of the growing insights of science into Reality, is a fascinating matter for study and prayer. Possibly, in time, much of the deep teaching of Scripture, much of which has been pulled down out of the “mystical” or “spiritual” to fit the tribal-social and mental level, will be set free to be seen to have been so profound that most will be astounded at what we had yet to see that Scripture says to us. However, beyond potential connections you can make from this writing, such a subject is outside the scope of this devotional. I say only this: as cosmology, or our view of the nature of the universe, now likely universes, changes, theology must change, or theology becomes largely irrelevant, in time.
Sit and meditate, let go of thoughts, accepting that you are able, through this Silence and self-offering to Reality, to participate in Reality and, thus, through receiving this Grace, share it with others. Amen.
“My friend, I am Spirit. You relate to me as another person, which is okay. But, would you dare believe me, when I say, 'I am wholly what you can become through the Love of God'? That is right! See, I am not just a person. I am Spirit. I come to you as person to help you come to me as spirit. I long for you to love just me, not your thoughts or images or theology of me. Will you let me love you that way, too, beyond all your thoughts and images and ideas about yourself? I am waiting until you are ready. I love you.”
*Greek definitions for psuchikos and pneumatikos derive from Young's Analytical Concordance.
Brian's book of mystical love poetry,
An Ache for Union, can be ordered through major bookdealers.
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