Skin in the Game

Christmas is a time to remember why, what is celebrated, the reason. It is so instinctive for us to grow comfortable in our perceptions and worldviews. To cease asking questions. To sink into the marshmallow comfort of our status quo; even resigned acceptance undergirding disillusionment. Hopefully not stuck in the box of a smug know-it-all. Who, me? 🙂

The essence of Christmas is about how an abstract invisible God made himself visible, and lived among us at a specific place and time in history. For many, Christianity is a religion, beliefs and dogmas, theology, and the teachings of the Bible. All of those elements are important ingredients. But the core that so often slips out of sight is the one closest to God’s heart revealed through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. He is a father, loves us as children, forgives us with mercy, and encourages us to make him known in the quality of our relationships with one another. Love becoming visible through flesh, relationships.

I’ve just begun a draft of a new book on this topic. It is called: Skin, The Word Became Flesh – Relationships and Christianity. Here’s a rough opening first draft… I think it is at the root of the meaning of Christmas.

In the beginning God created….

Before that beginning there is no beginning. Infinity, mind-blowing space impossible to fathom or wrap our minds around. It is unbelievable. Like attempting to embrace God and imagine the existence of someone like that. All we have are clues and fingerprints that point us in a direction beyond our capacity to comprehend.

And out of that infinite nothing there was? Who knows what? Is there life on Mars? We might call it spirit or soul. But it was invisible to the naked eye, without form or substance.

Out of that place God spoke a word and created something that became visible – it had skin.

In the first book of the Bible – Genesis, we read that God spoke words and created things with skin, invisible to visible. Skin in the form of rock, liquid, foliage, even light and dark. What was invisible became visible with form and substance.

As an aside. To believe that humanity evolved from a big bang that arranged itself in high complexity, design, and ultimately human life may require more faith based on less evidence, than it takes to believe in the existence of God.

God spoke words and flesh was formed in the shape of heaven and earth, night and day, water, and dry land, and ultimately from the dust of the new earth – a man. He named that man Adam and shared with him the task of naming the animals. He would walk with him and talk with him. Yet the picture was incomplete. Adam probably thought it was fine. He didn’t realize what he did not know.

Then God placed Adam into a deep sleep and from his rib he created woman. He called the woman Eve and introduced them to one another as companions, partners, man, and woman. He said to Adam, “It is not good for you to be alone.”

Adam may have protested and declared, “I am not alone, I have you!”

To which God may have replied, “I am not enough, you need someone like yourself. Someone made of the same flesh. Someone with skin.”

The rest of the Old Testament describes the history of people with skin struggling to live side by side in peace and harmony. All hell broke loose after the betrayal in the Garden of Eden. The ones with skin were not puppets, they had free will, choices, decisions, and consequences. Snakeskin and human skin embarking on a long journey with each other and with God – who was without skin.

Until He was born in a stable in Bethlehem – then everything changed. Some took note, made journeys, asked questions, had revelations. Others shrugged. Much like today. The faith we have largely depends on the skin we’ve been touched by. What is your next question?

John Cox

Christian Author

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