Monday, December 08, 2008
The Incarnation and the Resurrection
It's interesting to me, curious, in fact, that we spend Advent, Christmas and most of The Epiphany focusing in on the humanity of Jesus. When it comes to his resurrection, however, we get mystical and mysterious, even though the evangelists want us to see him in the flesh, put our hands into the wounds in his side, watch him eating breakfast. . .
Brian Doyle, editor of Portland Magazine, has been musing about the meaning of a bodily resurrection. He penned this poem which appeared in Christian Century, December 2, 2008. I found it a provocative meditation for Advent.
Some thorny questions about the resurrection
And I don’t mean theological or ontological or scriptural or hermeneutical questions.
I mean real questions, like did He have to pee like a racehorse after three long days?
And what’s the first thing He said when He woke up, did He say where’s my wallet?
Or did He say sweet mother of the Lord, that is absolutely the last time I drink wine?
Or where is my posse? Or who are these two men in white at my head and at my feet?
Are they hospital orderlies or nurses from the nuthouse or navy midshipmen or what?
And when Mary of Magdala didn’t recognize Him, and though He was the gardener,
Did He want to say, My God, Mary, the gardener, do I look like a shaggy botanist?
And did He think, boy, I would give my left arm for some fresh grilled fish and bread,
Or man, when a guy gets wrapped for the tomb do they use enough linen and spices?
And between you and me I am sure that there are also many other things Jesus thought
The which if they should be written every one I suppose that even the wild world itself
Could not contain the books that should be written. Like where did He get a decent cup
Of coffee that morning? And who paid for it? And why was He razzing Peter so much?
And when He saith unto Mary, woman, touch me not, was that a personal space issue?
Or was she one of those people who when they tough you it tickles even if they do not
Try to tickle you? You know what I mean? And when He appeared along the lakeshore,
And on the road to Emmaus, had He, you know, borrowed a shirt and a pair of pants?
Of all the hints and suggestions in the Gospels that Jesus may have had a few brothers,
That’s the tiny hint that seems revealing to me, don’t you think, that He might’ve swung by
His brother’s apartment and nicked a shirt and left a note: dude, I’ll make it up to you . . .