This is a big one for me. A huge perspective shift. I’ve thought a lot about it.
The way that I grew up, and the question that was usually the most important question to be able to answer, was the question around the divinity of Jesus. Was Jesus God? Is Jesus God? Fully God… A lot of things seemed to hinge on the answer to that question.
I don’t think that’s the important question anymore.
I think the important question is... Was Jesus fully human?
Now I realize that many Christians have, for years, said that Jesus was both fully God and fully human. The problem with that for me, was that it was impossible given what I was taught that God and humans were. I was taught God knows everything and humans don’t. I was taught God was good and humans were evil. I was taught that God couldn’t be around sin and humans were “original sin”.
So, for any creature to be both God and human didn’t really make sense. In fact, it was like saying a creature is a cat and a dog. And I’m all for things not making sense... but there is a line.
Really to say that Jesus was God didn’t make much sense, because again, Jesus, for starters, said he didn’t know things that the “Father” did.
And, of course, this all is determined by our definitions. Richard Rohr says that saying Jesus is God is heretical... because Jesus is a part of the trinity.
Okay... at some point I learned a different way of looking at things. A more paradoxical, and yet coherent, way.
The divine is in humanity. There isn’t this big separation of God over here, sacred over here, good over here, and then humans over here, secular over here, bad over here. That was, in fact, a thought that some of the letters of the Bible were written to try to correct.
God is in the human. Always has been.
This has all kinds of implications - way more than just some theological arguments (although those are definitely there as well)
1. Humans matter. A ton. Jesus told humans that they will do greater things than he did. Greater. Greater than Jesus. How would be that be possible? Because the divine is in them.
2. Ceremonies, liturgies, rituals are not magical. They are human. They are your standard flesh and blood (and bread and wine). And that’s why they are powerful. We see the divine in the normal and ordinary, especially when we stop and look.
Marriage ceremonies, baptisms, eucharist... nothing happens... except the most powerful thing that can happen... if we see it.
3. Everything is ordinary and yet, completely unordinary, because the Divine lives in the ordinary and the Divine is unordinary ordinary.
4. God will not take care of things. God needs a body. Jesus said this pretty explicitly. When we pray that our friend will somehow get groceries, we remember to go and get those groceries. When we pray for our enemies, we remember to go and be with our enemies and do good things for them.
When we get mad that God is not solving the refugee crisis we remember that God says something to the effect of... you’re right, you have not done anything.
5. The Bible is a human book. Soaked in humanity. And within its culture, context, language, and evolution, we find it soaked in the divine.
This idea may be the biggest foundational reasons I have fallen in love with spirituality again. I began to trust people again, I began to have an optimism about people and God again, I began to see God, be aware of God, wake up to the divine, and I began to feel worthy and accepted and empowered.
All of that just drinking a cup of coffee.
Because I matter. Because you matter. Because they matter. (Every single “they” I can come up with.) Because humans matter.
Because this moment matters.
Because God is all over all of us and it.
Was Jesus fully human? Yes. And God is that.
Leon Dufour a world renowned Jesuit said, “I have written in so many books on God, but after all that, what do I really know? I think, in the end, God is the person you’re talking to, the one right in front of you.”
If you know that, nothing will ever be the same.