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Sensing God Together: Two Guest Speakers Visit Spiritual Life Class to Contextualize Sensory Stories in the Gospel of Mark

One of the big reveals of the Bible is that God steps into a human body. 

Jesus talks and eats with prostitutes and Pharisees, sees the sea and touches the lepers, smells lilies of the field and oils of women, and even pours a glass of wine at a wedding in Canaan.

God, as Jesus, experiences the five senses.

Here at OC Online we’ve spent the 2019-2020 school year considering how God meets us not just through abstract propositions but in concrete, sensory experiences.  Perhaps we can’t fully understand God’s goodness; but just maybe we can “taste and see that the Lord is good” (Psalm 34:8).  Through the Incarnation, Jesus puts forward that our spiritual lives are both physical and metaphysical.  He comes to instruct and to feed, to touch and to forgive.  Through his institution of sacraments like Holy Baptism and the Lord’s Supper he invites our faith to move from intellectual assent into embodied transformation. 

God is closer than we know, and realer than we can understand.

Doing this work of connecting the sensory dots in our theology necessarily puts us in conversation with people who experience the senses—and therefore God—in unique ways.  How does Jesus’ invitation to “living water”taste to someone who does not have regular access to clean water?  What does Jesus’ command “whoever has ears let them hear” sound like to a Deaf person?  What does “the cross” look like to someone who has never seen or smelled blood, wood, or nails? 

To introduce some of these considerations, we invited two guest speakers to our Spiritual Life online live session: Florencia Ramirez, author of Eat Less Water, and Ben Rhodes from “Joni and Friends”.

Click to read more:

Reflections on Guest Speaker Florencia Ramirez

Reflections on Guest Speaker Be Rhodes

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