"For the glory of God is the human person fully alive; and life consists in beholding God. For if the vision of God which is made by means of the creation, gives life to all the living in the earth, much more does the revelation of the Father, which comes through the Word, give life to those who see God." -Irenaeus of Lyon (130-200)
I read that in Common Prayer this morning, and in light of our conversations this week about gnosticism, I couldn't wait to share a bit with you:
The first systematic theologian of the church, Irenaeus lived in a time when Christianity was young and fragile. He was appointed bishop of Lyon and combated the dualistic notion that matter and spirit are entirely separate, with matter being wholly corrupt. Irenaeus insisted that there is nothing inherently corrupt in creation but that humans lost their "likeness to God" through the distortion of sin. That likeness was restored, Irenaeus proclaimed, through Christ, the "second Adam," who corrected the story of the first Adam. In a time when so much of Christianity has been reduced to disembodied doctrine of otherworldly sentiment, Irenaeus' voice rings out like a prophet's.
Taking on our flesh, you have made flesh holy, Lord. Help us to die to our selfish ways and our faithless habits that we may know the fullness of your new creation in our communities as it is in your resurrected body. Amen.
(Shane Claiborne, Enuma Okoro, Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove)
May our bodies, which bear God's likeness, tell the story that we, too, have seen God.