When no bush of the field was yet in the land and no small plant of the field had yet sprung up—for the Lord God had not caused it to rain on the land, and there was no man to work the ground, and a mist was going up from the land and was watering the whole face of the ground— then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature. Genesis 2:5-7
We’re God’s creation. Regardless of our personal stance on creation, how it happened and how long it may have taken, the human form is an amazing construct. Mechanical aspects of our bodies took many centuries for us to replicate, and that poorly. Attempts at mimicking human animation, in reality, are choppy at best, downright comical at worst. How is it this creation, this veil of flesh and bone carrying our souls, is so amazingly complex? It’s this complexity, along with the complexity of God’s entire creation, that helps keep me from wandering past the edges of belief.
Can you imagine witnessing the breathing of life into the nostrils of Adam, starting human life? I envision him lying on the ground, limp and lifeless, and suddenly receiving God’s breath with eyes flashing open, skin tingling with new sensation! Imagine it! God had created for himself his eventual temple! We find temples throughout the Old Testament, conceivably constructed of stone, cold and hard, collecting objects of worship to be seen by a small community of priests.
Jesus changed it all. With the advent of Jesus, God with us, Emmanuel, the cold, hard stone of man-made temples were transformed into warm flesh, the heart, the individually chosen residence of God. Individually chosen because God doesn’t foist himself upon us. He waits for our answer to his knocking and question: Can I share your life?
This body of ours was created as a duplex. It houses our soul, and also has room enough for God. We were created for community, mimicking the Trinity. The body’s purpose is to carry us through this life to the next. While this may sound cliché, we are truly God’s creation, formed by his hand to live this life, however long, in all its messiness. As you consider and contemplate this magnificent temple, perhaps a feeling of gratitude for it is in order despite the aches and pains of life.
By Rich Obrecht