“And the Word became flesh and lived among us. . .” (John 1:14)
As we approach the great feast of the Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, we recall that over two thousand years ago, in a humble dwelling in Roman-occupied Palestine, the Word of God took on human flesh and lived among us in the person of Jesus Christ. This event was unique in world history and changed its course forever. No longer was God seen as dwelling somewhere remote, away from humankind, but instead, God was known as One living and walking on the earth. In this very event, the matter of humans–their fleshly substance–was given great importance. Echoes of Genesis 1 remind us that God made creation and called it good. This imago Dei is given a radical new claim in the Incarnation of Jesus Christ: as Christians, our bodies matter. What we do with our bodies matters, and what we shall become one day at the end of the age when Christ comes again will involve our physical bodies. With Christianity, no longer can created matter–and especially human bodies–be considered bad or immaterial, for it was with God’s coming in a human body, and the death and resurrection of that body, that the world was saved.
And so it is fitting that as God’s Word was voiced in the prophets of old and came to us in human flesh, it today is expressed through our own voices in the reading of Scripture aloud in worship and in sermons. God’s Word continues to come among us in the voices of human bodies, preaching the Truth of the one Word Made Flesh, Jesus of Nazareth. The radical claim of the Incarnation lives on in that God has allowed our voices to be continuing vessels of God’s Word.
Heeding with humility, and yet with great joy, the fact that God entrusts God’s Word to live among us today in the voices of those who preach and proclaim the written Word in Holy Scripture, we at the Center for Liturgy and Music, in partnership with VTS’s Deep Calls to Deep program, offer two videos that we hope will be helpful as you seek to embody the Word of God through your own bodies in ministry. Our faculty consultant the Rev. Dr. Ruthanna Hooke presents techniques for warming up the body before preaching (or reading Scripture) and for letting our own bodies, marvelously created in the image of God, resonate with God’s Word. We at the Center for Liturgy and Music wish you many blessings in this holy season.
“and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14)