2 Corinthians 3:3
Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart.
The word of God is not merely to be written down, memorized and recited. The word of God is to be lived. Those who have never read or heard a single word of the Bible may know God’s word better than those who can deliver chapter and verse. For the word of God is not a concept. The word of God is not some thing. The word of God is someone. The Word of God is a Divine Person, is with God and is God, existing before time and space. All of Creation came through the Word, and nothing exists without the Word. Into particular time and space, through the Mystery of the Incarnation, the Word became flesh, assuming human nature and dwelling among us. The Divine Person Who is the creating Word of God became a creature, became one of us. This is Christ, the Lord. And Christ, through the Paschal Mystery, gives the Holy Spirit to every human creature – freely gives the Spirit of the living God to all of us.
(But, do we receive?) We are called to receive the Spirit, not merely with our ears or our eyes in spoken or in written words, but with our hearts. Not so that we may merely “like” God’s Word, but so that we may truly love God’s Word and embrace the Divine Word in the deepest core of our beings, into the quiet sanctuary within ourselves, the sacred dwelling place that is the true heart of our lives. Open to the Spirit of God, we are able to deeply understand truth and be transformed by truth: the truth of eternity, the truth of Creation, the truth of ourselves created, through the Word, in the image of God to know, love, and serve God in the fullness of truth. We deeply understand, we know, not by grasping a concept, but by being in communion with God’s Word dwelling in our hearts. Dwelling – not written, but living and breathing in us and through us.
God’s Word is given to every human being through the Holy Spirit – but not all of us willingly open ourselves to receive… for we can close ourselves in on ourselves through the self-centeredness of sin and, being hardhearted, fail to live truth, fail to live in the fullness of communion with God. God’s Word Incarnate gives Himself, body, blood, soul and divinity, for every human being to save every human being from this failure. In assuming our human nature, the Word Incarnate, Christ, the Lord, takes the lethal poison of our sins into His own flesh nailed onto the Cross. God tastes death… pouring forth Divine Grace and sanctification in self-giving love. And when the Incarnate Word rises from the dead, He raises all of us up with Him, our antidote of mercy, sharing His eternal life with us – when we willingly share our lives with Him and open our hearts to Him. If we accept the Divine Word and allow the Holy Spirit to transform us, then we become testimonies to God, proof of holiness, not written with ink or carved into stone, but living and breathing in, with, and through us. From the sacred abode of our hearts, where we dwell together alone with God, to all of Creation and every one of our fellow human beings – we send forth the Word of God: Love.
And, so, I say that even if someone has never read or heard the words of the Bible – even if someone has never been properly introduced to Jesus Christ – that someone can still know the Divine Word, Who is Truth, Who is Love, Who is God in Whose image every human is created. Open to the Spirit of the living God, every person, whether Christian, Jew, Muslim, Pagan, Hindu, Buddhist, or Sikh, can be faithful to the creating Divine Word, living lives of self-giving love, striving for truth, reflecting God into the world. And if those who have not been properly introduced to Christ encounter Him through someone who has been saved into fullness by receiving Him fully, then the growing intimacy with the Divine Word Incarnate that they will experience will become the deepest blessing, the most sacred understanding, the fullest salvation – the fulfillment of their lives.
May I , in the sacred dwelling place of my heart, marry with the Word and bear forth the fruit of Divine Love so that all the world may also deeply know and love the Divine Incarnate One.
I am an epistle…
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I’m a Christian grandpa. Lately family has ignored me. The enemy came along and said ‘Poor grandpa’. Your ‘Written not with ink’ was a part (of several parts) of God reminding me of who he created me to become and who I am in Him. I can again be patient and, in His peace, allow Him to use this Epistle as He chooses, when He chooses
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Reading your words, I’m heartened that God led you to find this piece that He inspired. (Makes me want to try another Bible Burst!) I’m also moved and inspired by this that you wrote: “in His peace, allow Him to use this Epistle as He chooses, when He chooses” – Amen! May I do the same!
In the Peace of Christ, Pax Christi