Image of the invisible God.
In the beginning was the Word, the early word, the first word, mysterious voice talking behind the back of the universe, back before its beginning. The I am who I am word, the with-God word, the was-God word. A voice that called us into being across the reaches of infinity. The without-whom-nothing word, an unheard-of word behind words. World-making word. Speaking the language behind language.
Body of the untouchable God.
When babies try to tell us what they want by pointing, babbling, playing, copying, making us feel good by learning our names, playing out endless games of things appearing and disappearing, they hide behind their hands. Then take their hands away and, there they are. Bit by bit they show themselves. But were these also God’s desires? To recognise, to name and know. To communicate. To play some cosmic language game with us. God’s word play. To show and tell and communicate, to communicate.
Weakness of the all-powerful God.
The word became flesh. And the word became, wordless, flesh. A baby with no words. And the voice of the Maker became a hungry voice, a cry for food, a cry for milk. The voice that made gravity cried out for fear of falling. The voice that made women, cries for a woman’s breast, and screams with disappointment when it is denied.
Crying of the invulnerable God.
There are no words yet, only the cry of flesh. No way of telling, only the depth of need. If only this is God, this word-made-flesh, made flesh that looks, and feels, and acts like flesh, then now God is a small thing, is a baby, is a baby that can be dropped or hurt or left unfed left unchanged, left wet and smelly or be child abused. If this is God with no words, and if this wordless God is God, then God is flesh like our flesh, bones like our bones, needs to be taught…to speak.
The word became flesh and dwelt among us.
[Late Late Service 4, God in the Flesh, Glasgow, 1994]
Nick is a psychological coach, OD consultant and trainer, specialising in developing critical reflective practice.