It is doubtful that many (if any) people think humanity has it all together. There is the cynical quip that the greatest proof of intelligent life in the universe is that they haven’t contacted us. Regardless of your political orientation and whether US or world, there is no question that humanity is a complete and utter mess, and you may think that is generous.
What is amazing about the conclusion is that it crosses political, religious, ethnic, national lines. Even more amazing is that most of us seem to operate in a world where we primarily function trusting the work of other people that we don’t even know. Think about that. We know how messed up we are. We’re pretty sure that there are others as messed up (or more) than we are. And we’re pretty sure that the messed up people outnumber the not messed up ones.
Yet, there is something that still draws us to rely on (dare we say, trust) others that we do not know. Perhaps it is our recognition that despite all our differences, we are all human beings.
This Genesis describes humanity as made from dirt and after being molded by God, the breath of life was put into it, and humanity was made. Dirt, just like the dirt we walk on. Genesis says we are that dirt.
While the dirt was the beginning, it is not (quite) the end. For having the spirit of God inside of us, giving us life, tells us that the dirt is not all.
Dirt isn’t all bad. Have you seen the mountains? The stuff much of our food grows from is dirt. The rest of our food eats from what grows from dirt, too. How goes the little kids’ saying go? “God made dirt and dirt don’t hurt.” Not quite true (having been hit with hardened clods of it), but dirt still is of God and by God.
On the other hand, dirt is not quite the ideal. Paul notes that “flesh” will decay. Basically, the earthly stuff goes away. Dirt will go away.
Except, that upon our resurrection, the body that was dirt and placed in dirt becomes transformed. It is “transfigured” beyond what dirt is capable of doing in our limited experience. Through the resurrection, dirt becomes both completely different and yet becomes its most fulfilled self.
Yes, it’s hard to grasp. We do, however, have an example to look at, and that is Jesus Christ. Jesus is God and human. What exactly our resurrected-body-transformation will be? It’s a philosophical and even theological argument that will have no resolution on this side of life.
On this side of life, though, Paul’s vision along with Genesis can tell us why we have managed to not destroy each other, God’s breath is in us. It is not us. It is God.
- Why do think that it is important to remember that we will be transformed, as we interact with the world?
- Who are people you rely on? Why? What places them in a place of trust?