Veiled in flesh the Godhead see
A fine material worn by women to protect or conceal the face…
A thing that serves to cover, conceal or disguise.
Why would the King of kings conceal Himself?
A mysterious way for the greatest One in all of humanity to enter the world.
Theologically, we know that God was teaching us something in Jesus’ birth.
He was teaching us about humility—He was showing us that what we loved, what we sought after in the great things, the mighty things, the strong and powerful were merely a shadow. He was teaching us to look beyond image, status, wealth, power and to see the substance of something greater.
He flipped the story.
He flipped the values.
He asked us to draw near and see something small and honor it as great.
He asked us to draw near, to set aside our preconceived notions of what was significant and to let Him teach us.
Seeing the baby in a manger, and believing He was the Savior promised, required faith.
We, too, are veiled in flesh.
Our flesh is important—the Bible is not shy about speaking to the significance of the body. If it were not, He would have chosen to create us differently.
So, we are called to receive our bodies as a gift.
There is a glory God placed in our bodies that is a reflection of Him—He is the definition of beauty.
We see it when we look at snow-covered mountains or a pink-orange-red sunset or see, feel and hear the powerful waves of His oceans.
He put beauty there—and we long to see it. I spend time and money preparing to take in the most beautiful places.
And when God marveled at all of creation, He looked at you—He looked at me–and He said we had more significance than the ocean or mountains or sky.
Our bodies are the miraculous combination of a billion different cells specifically designed in combination to make you a unique being different from your neighbor, your friend, your spouse and even your twin. He, the maker of the universe, chose to knit you together in your mother’s womb, and tailor made you to be a gift to this world. With your body. Your particular skin color, eye color, and face shape. You are on purpose. Delightfully made.
We also know our bodies are broken.
From the day we entered the world with a cry. There is pain with living embodied.
As newborns we are thrust into the world naked, cold, dependent on others to care for us. Some are born with bodies that are immediately not working the way they are supposed to. And others growing, while also immediately exposed to a world that is going to come against it.
Our little, infant selves are embattled from the beginning in a world that was not the fullness of what God intended for us. We are at war, and incapable of managing the battles of that war on our own. We are needy.
We need Him.
We need others.
And we need our bodies.
The one He gave us—not a different one. The things that are broken within us and around us while broken are also gifts that will allow us to cling to Him in a way that makes us more powerful than if we had completely able bodies that did not wear out and did not break down.
I get to receive even the weak parts of my body as gifts—it may not get me all of what I want, but it will give me more of Jesus as I cling to Him and try to understand all He has for me in this body, in this life, in the circumstances I face.
Our bodies are made purposefully.
Within our bodies, God designed us for work. Work in the Garden of Eden, produced life and flourishing and all things good. Only now, this side of Eden do we experience work as a chore. There is a stewardship we are called to in our bodies.
We are called to honor our bodies—to enjoy it, to love it by nourishing it, to live within it faithfully—moving, paying attention to it when it hurts, and giving it what it needs (water, food, rest, exercise).
We are called to steward our bodies, knowing that God chose to dwell within it. We are His temple—His dwelling place.
Our bodies are of significance.
And even in stewarding it well, there will be thorns and thistles. We no longer reside in Eden where flourishing is the currency. Thorns and thistles are not evidence of doing it wrong or failing. It is evidence of brokenness. Lean on Him for provision. Lean on Him to work the land/work your body in a way that is in step with Him.
We know our bodies are a gift—it is purposeful, significant, to be cared for.
And we also know that it is not the most important thing.
Much like a veil covers a face, there is something of more substance underneath.
I love to watch brides at weddings.
We see her beauty with the veil.
We see the twinkle of her eyes. We see her smile as she takes in the love of her life. We see the cute way she fidgets and fumbles with her bouquet. We hear the words she professes to her husband of faith and honoring and protecting the commitment they are entering.
We know she is gorgeous from the moment the church doors open and she is seen.
He lifts the veil….
What was already beautiful is now radiant.
There is no shadow, no concealment, nothing hindering seeing the glorious love she has for her spouse.
And his face.
He is beaming, right?
He is so thankful for her—so glad he chose her, and she chose him.
So thankful they are uniting their lives together.
He can’t wait to kiss her.
And more than kiss her, take her as his own.
Sweet friend, your body—your face—It’s beautiful. And it is only a shadow of the depth of beauty residing in you.
It is there—you’re beautiful. When you don’t feel pretty and when you do. When you don’t feel handsome and when you do.
When you have energy, and when you are depleted.
When your body works the way it is supposed to and when it is failing you.
When you feel at home in your body and when you feel like it is a cloak weighing you down.
It is yours. And it is more glorious than you know.
AND there is a radiance to be revealed—
You, living the life of faith joined together with Christ your heavenly Spouse….He is working in you to reveal the little treasures of beauty you cannot see yet.
Someday, He will lift the veil.
Your face….His face.
In full glory.
I’m crying thinking about it.