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The Body as Gift

“This is my body given for you.”

I’ve been pondering this a lot during pregnancy, especially during the worst of hyperemesis gravidarum.
That’s theology of the body in a nutshell, isn’t it? I think in that statement Jesus is not only showing us what he’s doing on the cross, but also demonstrating a pattern that we are to follow – the body as a gift.
So the “this” in, “Do this in remembrance of me” not only references taking the bread and wine, remembering Christ’s giving, but is also a command to give our bodies for others in remembrance of him (in service, in physical suffering, in marriage, in parenting, …).
Romans makes a similar exhortation, “Therefore I urge you brothers in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God.  This is your spiritual act of worship.”
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Easter

God did not abolish the fact of evil: He transformed it. He did not stop the crucifixion: He rose from the dead.

– Dorothy Sayers

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Psalm 126

When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion,
    we were like those who dream.
Then our mouth was filled with laughter,
    and our tongue with shouts of joy;
then they said among the nations,
    “The Lord has done great things for them.”
The Lord has done great things for us;
    we are glad.

Restore our fortunes, O Lord,
    like streams in the Negeb!
Those who sow in tears
    shall reap with shouts of joy!
He who goes out weeping,
    bearing the seed for sowing,
shall come home with shouts of joy,
    bringing his sheaves with him.

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“With that manifest knowledge
which God gave to Adam,
whereby he gave names to Eve
and to the animals,
God did not reveal the discoveries
of things that were concealed;
but in the case
of the hidden knowledge
from the stars downward,
Adam was able to pursue
enquiry into all
that is within this universe.”

Hymns on Paradise 12.16

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Silence of God

It’s enough to drive a man crazy, it’ll break a man’s faith
It’s enough to make him wonder, if he’s ever been sane
When he’s bleating for comfort from Thy staff and Thy rod
And the Heaven’s only answer is the silence of God

It’ll shake a man’s timbers when he loses his heart
When he has to remember what broke him apart
This yoke may be easy but this burden is not
When the crying fields are frozen by the silence of God

And if a man has got to listen to the voices of the mob
Who are reeling in the throes of all the happiness they’ve got
When they tell you all their troubles
Have been nailed up to that cross
Then what about the times when even followers get lost?
‘Cause we all get lost sometimes

There’s a statue of Jesus on a monastery knoll
In the hills of Kentucky, all quiet and cold
And He’s kneeling in the garden, as silent as a Stone
All His friends are sleeping and He’s weeping all alone

And the man of all sorrows, he never forgot
What sorrow is carried by the hearts that he bought
So when the questions dissolve into the silence of God
The aching may remain but the breaking does not
The aching may remain but the breaking does not
In the holy, lonesome echo of the silence of God

– Silence of God by Andrew Peterson

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Suffering

He didn’t suffer so we wouldn’t have to; He suffered so we’d know HOW to.

– seen on Facebook somewhere

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Practicing for Death

“At least three times a day, deny yourself some tiny, legitimate pleasure, such as the extra cigarette, the second drink, or the extra lump of sugar, in order to discipline your spirit and keep mastery over yourself for the love of God.

These little “deaths” are so many rehearsals for the final death. Dying is a masterpiece, and to do it well, we must die daily: ‘If any man would come after me, let him…take up his cross daily’ (Luke 9:23).” – Fulton Sheen’s Wartime Prayer Book, via HouseUnseen

I like the idea that we have to practice for death. I touched on it here after reading Pilgrim’s Progress.

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