Saturday, February 20, 2016

Is God Chicken?

Daily(ish) Blogging in Lent 2016 - Day Seven

In his book on the Holy Spirit, Pneumatology, Veli-Matti Karkkainen, reminds his readers that Martin Luther, in his commentary on Genesis, “compares the Spirit with a chicken who sits on eggs to make them hatch.” (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2002, page 82)

This shouldn’t be shocking. As we read about Christ’s temptation in the wilderness, we read also that before the Spirit pushed Jesus there, that the Spirit also descended upon Jesus “like a dove.” It is also possible to translate “dove,” as “pigeon.” Luke’s gospel clarifies the dove was “in bodily form.” 

Like Jesus, the Spirit comes as flesh. (Luke 3:22, Matthew 3:16)

Jesus describes himself as a chicken. We "who kill prophets," closing our ears to liberative justice, avoiding the disturbance created deep within us when “business as usual,” is disturbed and suddenly we remember there is more to life, and that more is slipping away while we distract ourselves from liberative action, faith active in love, genuine relations, community, lives lived in compassion; as we distract ourselves through consumption of goods, of relationships, of media, of pleasurable experiences…  

Say the gospels, Jesus longs “to gather [our] children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings…” (Luke 13:34)

Can you imagine this? God as a chicken? The Holy Spirit? Christ? Creator? 

Can you imagine a God who gives birth to you—perhaps once upon a time, perhaps daily? A God who desires to warm and protect you until you are ready to break out of your shell? Can you imagine that God desires your life to be more than consumption? That meaningful experiences and spiritual ecstasies lie outside the bounds of what you can purchase and consume? Outside the limits of your imagination? Can you imagine that even if you have killed, despite your past, God wants something more for your future? 

Can you imagine God as a chicken? 

The Bible did, as did the sages of history. 

How else do you imagine God? 

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