I first heard of Nadia Bolz-Weber after seeing a picture of her tattoos. I’m not usually a tattoo person, but hers? She just looks super cool. And she’s a Lutheran pastor. Not your average woman! Anyway, I enjoy following her writings occasionally. This was a particularly good sermon. The following two paragraphs especially stood out to me. Think about it, and enjoy.
I understand [Nicodemus’] desire for this all to make sense. I do. But instead of a religion revealed through philosophical constructs – easily reasoned out and understood, instead we get a God inconveniently revealed in people, and food and wine and water and bodies and pies and oil and beer. When God chose to come and take on human flesh and walk the earth and break bread with friends it was as though God was baptizing the material. As though to say “stop looking for me in the heavens when you aren’t even close to understanding the majesty of a loaf of bread” or as Jesus puts it, if you can’t understand earthly things you’ll never understand heavenly things.
And understanding the heavenly within the earthly, the transcendent within the mundane, is not an intellectual logical, reason-based experience. You can’t make the gospel make sense by using your head. You have to use your hands. And eyes, and mouth, and ears and nose. Because the kingdom of heaven, as Jesus says, is At HAND, reach out and touch it, see it, eat it, feel it. In other words, take in the glory of God in the common, unexpected and totally crazy ways in which our Lord Jesus Christ still seems to be redeeming us.