Monday, February 16, 2009

Send in your Stories

While most of this blog will be thoughts about the book's content and the overall "God with skin on" concept, I want to let you know that the website for the book also has a blog where I invite you to submit your stories of people who have been God with skin on for you.

I made that website with a very simple program, so it's not too flexible. That means you'll need to send me your stories and pictures to put up. My e-mail is in the sidebar. Keep them short, or I'll have to edit them down and if you send pictures of children, please assure me that you have permission from the parents/guardians.

I hope that blog will, over time, become a place to see what God with skin on looks like in the lives of real people.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Jesus and You

You may be the only Jesus some people ever meet. It's not a new concept. St. Paul gave us the metaphor of the Body of Christ (Ephesians 1:22-23 and 1 Corinthians 12:12-14) and there have always been those who have seen that as a very literal calling. I am among them.

I think that is the whole point of the gift of the Holy Spirit, especially as it is so intimately described in the Gospel of John when Jesus literally breathes onto his disciples. (John 20:22). In receiving that gift we accept both the privilege and the responsibility of becoming the body of Jesus in and for the world. Jesus has already told his disciples in John 13:20, "Very truly, I tell you, whoever receives one whom I send receives me; and whoever receives me receives him who sent me."

Teresa of Avila, a Carmelite nun living in Spain in the 16th century, famously put the concept this way:

Christ has no body now on earth but yours,
no hands but yours,
no feet but yours,
Yours are the eyes through which to look out
Christ's compassion to the world
Yours are the feet with which he is to go about
doing good;
Yours are the hands with which he is to bless men now.

I think God cares more about whether our actions truly reflect Jesus than whether we give intellectual assent to certain doctrines or profess some set of magic words.