Normally the first post on a blog explains the title of the blog and it is normally one of the most boring, but revealing posts. When I was using a different wordpress theme this blog had no title because I couldn’t come up with anything smart enough. But some time ago I filled in “Physical Life” as the title and it showed up when I changed blog themes. Now, it is no secret that Gilead by Marilynne Robinson is my favorite book and recently I reread parts of it and came across the passage that inspired my blog title. I would like to think I could write something on why both this book and this passage have become words I often return to in my life, but I don’t think I could write anything as beautiful as the passage itself. However, in the passage itself I think I see that Christianity, Christology, and the sacraments depend on our physicality. Our “physical lives” are not things we can forsake and I hope it is something I learn to love, ponder, and be thankful for. The more I have thought about it, the more I also come to see that prayer is attached to my physical life and how in prayer I come to feel the sacredness and beauty of the physical life I get to live.
"Today was the Lord’s Supper, and I preached on Mark 14:22,"And as they were eating, he took bread, and when he had blessed, he brake it, and gave it to them, and said, Take ye: this is my body." Normally I would not preach on the Words of Institution themselves when the Sacrament is the most beautiful illumination of them there could be. But I have been thinking a great deal about the body these last weeks. Blessed and broken. I used Genesis 32:23-32 as the Old Testament text, Jacob wrestling with the Angel. I wanted to talk about the gift of physical particularity and how blessing and sacrament are mediated through it. I have been thinking lately how I have loved my physical life. In any case, and you may remember this, when almost everyone had left and the elements were still on the table and the candles still burning, your mother brought you up the aisle to me and said, "You ought to give him some of that." You’re too young, of course, but she was completely right. Body of Christ, broken for you. Blood of Christ, shed for you. Your solemn and beautiful child face lifted up to receive these mysteries at my hands. They are the most wonderful mystery, body and blood. It was an experience I might have missed. Now I only fear I will not have time enough to fully enjoy the thought of it."