John 1:14 (MSG)
The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood.
We saw the glory with our own eyes, the one-of-a-kind glory, like Father, like Son, Generous inside and out, true from start to finish.
I love this wording from the Message. Being an idiomatic translation, it can’t necessarily be used as a primary source. But it is so valuable as a creative tool.
Language is important. Words, and the thoughts and feelings they inspire, can be creative or destructive. The written word and the spoken word can penetrate. Words dwell in us.
Word becoming flesh is incarnation. In Scripture, Jesus is presented as God incarnate. And we humans are spirit incarnate. We are quite literally the meeting of earth/dirt (humus) and wind/breath/spirit (ruach).
Jesus offers us truth about who God is and who we are. But, unfortunately, we also carry all of the lesser “truths” that we have accumulated and internalized throughout our lives. You know these “truths,” the ones that manifest as symptoms: thoughts and feelings that destroy us from the inside out. The ones that lead to feeling separate from God. These can inoculate us against healthy and healing truths about who we are and who God is.
Luckily, the truth moved into the neighborhood. But we must allow this truth to move into the neighborhoods inside of us. God is still speaking. God is still revealing Godself in widening circles of love and compassion. There is no limit to God, only of God consciousness.
Julian of Norwich that said “our souls are cities in which God dwells.” May we allow our cities to be illuminated with a light not of our own making. Darkness is not the opposite of light, but the absence of light.
Matthew 6 tells us that the eye is the lamp of the body. The eye is the window to the soul. We will see the world as it is narrated by the “truths” inside of us. May the light of creative, constructive, corrective, and healing truth shine inside of us today and all of our days.
On that day, you will know that you are in me and I am in you. John 14:20
Tony Caldwell is lead pastor of The Underground Church: A Progressive Christian Community in Oxford.