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Rock, Paper, and Scissor

Jesus said, “I am the rock, the paper, and the scissors.” -Unvirtuous Abbey (via Twitter)

The twitter-group describe themselves as “Digital monks praying for people with first world problems. From our keyboard to God’s ears.” They take humorous (and hopeful) jabs at life and faith that can be at-times both illuminating and scathing.

The quote I pulled from my tweed (twitter feed, I have abbreviated) stood out to me as an example of using contemporary formulations to breath new life into a Biblical interpretation.

When I read the tweet, I imagined the totality of Christ– fully encompassing all aspects of creation. (Okay, that was a bit of a departure from what may have been simply an off-hand quip.)

Paul describes Christ to the Colossians saying…

We look at this Son and see the God who cannot be seen. We look at this Son and see God’s original purpose in everything created. For everything, absolutely everything, above and below, visible and invisible, rank after rank after rank of angels—everything got started in him and finds its purpose in him. He was there before any of it came into existence and holds it all together right up to this moment. And when it comes to the church, he organizes and holds it together, like a head does a body.

He was supreme in the beginning and—leading the resurrection parade—he is supreme in the end. From beginning to end he’s there, towering far above everything, everyone. So spacious is he, so roomy, that everything of God finds its proper place in him without crowding. Not only that, but all the broken and dislocated pieces of the universe—people and things, animals and atoms—get properly fixed and fit together in vibrant harmonies, all because of his death, his blood that poured down from the cross.

Paul makes a point to the Colossians that Christ is supreme over all of creation. From such a place, he deserves the church’s wholehearted commitment, faithfulness, and trust. The rest of the letter goes on to describe how the Christians now belong to Christ and have an obligation to live out of grace with one another rather than human regulations (2:8) and legalism (2:20 and following).

If we believe that Jesus is the representation of God inhabiting a human form, that human form has got a lot of substance filling him up. This is what is so distinctive about the Christian faith– Jesus is not simply a teacher or revealer of a creator deity, but the actual representation of what God looks and sounds like when he shows up in the flesh (in-carne-ted in Spanish, or in-meat-ed in English). Christ is not first among leaders or a pinnacle of humanity, but something that transcends what humanity consists of by encompassing all of who God is as well. And what it most impressive is that this deity, who is essence itself, seeks out humanity, becomes accessible, vulnerable, relational, and is ultimately rejected in a most dehumanizing way. (Interesting to note, that when the humanity is stripped from Jesus in the crucifixion, we see most evident the divine character of God within him…)

In response to the totality of God in Christ, Paul continues to write that there should no longer be ethnic divisions among God’s people, because “Christ is all, and is in all”. As Christ defies the categorizations that seem so insurmountable, the community that lives in his likeness is to do the same. From his fullness, we look to find restoration of our own broken lives and the brokeness that we see in relationships all around us. In this path, there are no longer divisions within ourselves or between us, but we are one together in our journey of grace that would affirm that in Christ is all that ever could be, and that he is, as our brothers have written, “the rock, the paper, and the scissors”.

Footnote- This is also a good paraphrase for Jesus’ proclamation in Revelation- “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty” and “the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End” (Revelation 1:8; 22:13)

Another footnote, from an interview with blogsite The Practical Catholic (Link)

You obviously like twitter, what are some of the highlights of the twitter universe for you?

Jesus was the original Tweeter. The Beatitudes are essentially 140 characters of blessings. Twitter gives people the chance to be the blessing.

Follow@UnvirtuousAbbey on Twitter. While you’re there, follow @Global_Theology too…

-Michael Shepherd

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