The Pagan Path

Those who wonder are not lost; they are trying to awaken! 'The Sleeper must awaken!'

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Covenant; The Air That We Breathe

Really, when you think about it; life is very covenantal; in fact, without covenant, there would be no life!

Biologically speaking, and trust me, I am no authority here, just think of all of God's good creation and how it only functions within the confines of covenant. If a plant does not receive the proper nutrients, sunlight ( just the right amount ), and etc. what happens to it? It goes the way of all plant matter, and is absorbed back into the earth to provide the proper nutrients for some other 'plucky' plant. Same with human beings, except even more complex and mysterious! If a baby does not receive the proper nutrients, etc., from day one, he will not grow correctly in his ( or her ) mother's womb, and if life perseveres ( likely, anymore, except in cases of fetal murder ), then the child-adult will most likely have a constant reminder of this for the rest of his ( or her ) life!

Some people may have a problem with the use of the term 'covenant' here. The term 'relational' might do just as well to describe the affinity between the plant and all its necessary nutrients, and the biological body ( this includes irrational animals, as well ), and its constituent elements. Life is relational, no one will argue this! There are certain necessary things without which nothing would survive. Even rocks, any good geologist could tell you, is not simply 'there', but is held together, and molded together by many different processes, depending on the rock. There is nothing in all of creation that does not rely on another part of God's good creation for its very existence. Take human beings, for example, and much the same could be said for animals, plants, etc.; how long would any of these examples last without at least a part of their God-given constituency? To be sure, we are all familiar, more or less, with extraordinary cases, in which one or more of the above-named examples has survived, persevering, seemingly against all odds. We cannot deny that, under certain amazing, even almost supernatural circumstances; certain men, animals, and plants have all seemingly defied the odds and continued their existence, for some time, anyway, without what we deem the necessary circumstances to sustain life! I daresay though, that in every one of these cases, and please correct me if I'm wrong; certain nutrients were found and employed, regardless of the fact that they were not what we would normally think of as the correct, or even healthful nutrients.

Covenant, or relationship, truly is a matter of life or death!

Without some sort of relationship, even within the biological animal body, life will not persevere. For our biological clock to keep on ticking, so to speak, it must have communion, or relationship with many intricate parts. King David wrote, in Psalm 139:14, that we are 'fearfully [ and ] wonderfully made'. This statement, which may vary somewhat, according to translation, has become a modern catch-phrase, especially among Christians, and while I believe that this statement goes a bit further than simply referring to our biological make-up, even the most cursory examination of the human/animal body will reveal just how intricate it is, and how marvelously everything works together for the good of the body..

Anyone who has ever experienced the slightest bodily discomfort can tell you; even a hang-nail can mess up your equilibrium! A headache, especially a migraine, can mess up your whole day, and a mere case of the sniffles can change your whole attitude in facing the day. Most of these problems can be overcome, of course, through various and varied means, but even this just goes to show how much we rely on communion within the body!

'There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body'

Paul's statement above is most often thought to refer to the physical, biological body as opposed to some non-physical, glorified, and incorruptible body that we will ( supposedly ) receive after this biological body perishes.  Although this is not the point that Paul was making; I believe that, as I alluded to in quoting that famous passage from David's Psalm, we can, to some extent, make this connection, for our spiritual bodies, or 'souls', you might say, are just as 'fearfully [ and ] wonderfully made', and as much or more, reliant upon this communion!

The spiritual body, in the sense that we saw earlier, of the slightest ailment affecting the whole physical body, has much the same function when it comes to communion. If any certain part of our spiritual life, as opposed to mere biological life, is functionally unresponsive, our whole spiritual life becomes a playground for all kinds of disease; as Paul also wrote, in Ephesians 4:14, we are 'carried about by every wind of doctrine'. Spiritual sickness, as many can attest to, affects not only your relationship with our Creator, it can affect, and most often does, to one degree or another, our biological life as well.

Stress kills the Body!

I have often seen, and so can attest to personally, that stress is a killer! Stress affects not only our physical, biological bodies, but it has a most devastating effect on our emotional and spiritual state as well. You probably don't need me to tell you how much the slightest inconvenience, the merest shaving thrown into the gears of our daily life, can cause it all to come crashing down, especially if we don't have recourse, for whatever reason, to that much-needed communion, whether it be with our Father alone, or with the Body of His Son. When we allow stress to dictate our lives, it affects every part of our lives, and most importantly, our communion, or relationship, with our Creator!

Stress, as may be said, is unavoidable! Anything, from the smallest grain of sand between our toes, to an explosion, whether metaphorical or real, can cause us to 'stress out'. I don't think anyone alive today can honestly say that they lead a stress-free life!

With a right relationship with our Father in 'Heaven', though, and that much-needed, and necessary communion with the Body of His Son; although the stress-factors, which are an ever-present part of life, may seem to threaten our very existence, they need not control our life. When faced with any problem, or stress-factor, in life, no matter how small and seemingly minute, or large and seemingly life-threatening; we have recourse, we can turn for that life-giving communion to both our Heavenly Father, and to the Body of His Son, our neighbor!

As much to myself as anybody else,  
but still enjoying 'The Communion of the Body',
Charles Haddon Shank

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