When the future reign of God comes breaking into our present, there is more at stake than what we often call “spirituality”…This way of being human is not for people who think their bodies are cages and want to transcend the moment they are in. This way of being is not for people who don’t like to dance or make love.
This is a protest against the body-defying, world-denying principalities and powers that threaten to swallow us up. This is resistance to religion that is less substantial than the taste of crusty bread and sweet wine. It’s in favor of skin, in favor of laughter, in favor of music, in favor of sweat. It’s in favor of nakedness, but in protest to pornography. It’s in favor of touch, but in protest to being handled. It’s in favor of the soul, but in protest to its dismemberment from the body.
It is as greasy as the touch of an oily finger on the T-zone of a teenager’s face. It’s as intrusive as the hands of a brother or a sister washing the dirt off your feet as you sit in awkward silence. It is as mysterious as the slow descent of a body into an ancient baptismal pool at midnight, with prayers and hymns offered up all around. It is as beautiful and disconcerting as the gore that flowed out of Jesus’ side when it was torn by a spear, as spectacular as the lightning that flashed at Sinai, as plain and uneventful as a meal shared with a stranger.
It is high time we stopped sanitizing the scandal of a bodily gospel. Jesus’ new way of being human is exceedingly good news for the legions around us who are in need of healthy touch.