This is Holy Week for Christians. The most important week in the Christian calendar, the climax of the Christian year, when we celebrate the central historical events of our faith, the bodily death and bodily resurrection of our Lord & Reconciler, Jesus of Nazareth.
The Second Person of the Trinity did not become flesh and dwell among us, and die for us, and rise bodily from the grave so that we could escape our bodies. The body-hatred promoted by today’s Gender Ideologues is an example of how not to honor our deepest Christian Truths. Those Truths are the Doctrines of Creation, Incarnation, Jesus’s Bodily Death, Bodily Resurrection, Bodily Ascension, Bodily Return and then culminating with the Bodily Resurrection of Believers. All of which actualizes the remarriage of Heaven and Earth.
The New Testament scriptures refer to this “remarriage” as New Creation. For the Creator’s design now is to bring about the reconciliation of the invisible with the visible. Cosmically and Personally. First and foremost reconciliation between God and God’s creation, and then between the bi-natured creation itself, heaven & earth, soul & body.
In other words, we are destined by God’s design for Creational Wholeness. A fully Integrated, unbroken creational communion. A communion that does not obliterate the differences of God’s creation, but unites the two in Holy Matrimony. As it was in the Beginning.
And at the center of that marriage will be the dwelling place of our Creator God. In scriptural language this is known as the Temple. The human signpost of this communal intent is Husband & Wife. And the life they create together.
The individual signpost is a fruitful mind & body integration.
Second Century Church Father, Bishop Irenaeus, (AD 130 – 198) is the outspoken champion of the ‘realism’ of Christian Theology. Much of his life’s work was to combat the empty spiritualism of the first great Christian heresy called Gnosticism. At root Gnosticism’s core principle was the devaluation of the material world.
In contrast to the Gnostics’ empty spiritualism and proud contempt for the body, Irenaeus stubbornly refused to let man cut himself off from the life of this world and escape into a pseudo heavenly half-existence.
If there is to be real redemption, this earth and no other, this body and no other, must have the capacity to take God’s grace into itself. And thereby become the Temple of God.
This is what Classic Christians like myself believe and confess every week when we recite our Creeds, carefully read our Scriptures, and celebrate the Eucharist.
So let us not be World-less Christians Celebrating Holy Week. Let us embrace our God given materiality and by extension, embrace the beauty of the earth around us. I’ve said a few times on this blog and several times to my brothers and sisters at church, God gave us bodies because we were meant to have them. Humans are not angel apprentices awaiting some future “exaltation” to the invisible realm. Angels are God’s created heavenly family, humans are God’s created earthly family. Embodied existence is our human destiny. After bodily death an interim existence within the loving embrace of God awaits us. Call it a heavenly existence if you like. But then there will be life after life after death. Classic Christians believe in a two-stage afterlife process, the interim loving embrace at death, and then the reconciliation of the invisible soul with the visible when our bodies will be restored incorruptible at the return of Christ and the consummation of all things.
Let us not exclude the reality of God from the world God created, either the visible or invisible world. Let us not deny salvation to God’s handiwork.
God’s blessings to you this Holy Week. And the weeks to come….