Friday, August 30, 2013

One Flesh

Russian stacking dolls
ONE FLESH. A mystery hidden within a mystery that has been under explored and under appreciated as a revelation about the nature of relationship between humanity and God, Christ and His Church, and between husbands and wives.

In the beginning, God was in essence ONE FLESH, the God of Creator-Redeemer-Comforter called variously the Trinity or the Godhead or the PARENT-CHILD. This ONE FLESH GOD said "let us make humans in our image : male and female...." They were created and then immediately the Bible says "for this reason."...a man shall leave his family and cling to his woman...a woman will move from the allegiance of her birth family to this new unit....they shall be "ONE FLESH". The one flesh was the standard - the concept of the reuniting of separates that were unique in and of themselves but whose completeness was best realized in a reunion of the halves to make a new whole.

In the New Testament, Jesus reaffirms the importance of this marital relationship by repeating that they shall be "ONE FLESH". Why? Because that ideal, that concept, was fundamental to His own relationship to "GOD" and the relationship he wanted to have with his "BRIDE" - the followers who would become the Church.

Paul indicates this with his own repeated imagery of the "Body" with its parts all working in coordinated harmony. He indicates it with his discussion of husbands and wives. He indicates this with his imagery of the 'ev Christos' of Galatians 3.27-29. There he paints the picture of moving from one sphere of existence into a new, totally different sphere. In that new spehere is where the believer merges, integrates, blends, disappears into, becoming the new creation of Jesus Christ. All a consistent imagery reflecting that same ONE FLESH revealed since the creation account.

-- [from Those Pesky Verses of Paul by Marilyn A. Hudson, used by permission]

The Russian stacking dolls are an excellent imagry of the process of becoming one flesh -- everything becomes one.  This process of reuniting that which was divided is crucial to understanding the manner in which God wants to interact with humanity.  How do we reconcile, however, a superior and inferior role in a merged new entity?  How can one half of the one flesh than seek to control or negate the other half?  Hard questions but ones which demand our exploration and thought.

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