The Body Series: On Matter, Existence, and Goodness

A moment of creation.

The second idea that presented itself to me when I started trying to understand God’s view of the body was matter. 

Mainly, that God encased all that he created in a body of sorts — in matter.

The sun and moon. The earth, sea, and stars. Every animal and plant. Us. 

All these things have a body. Their matter makes them a thing. It gives them literal substance. And God saw fit to not only make that substance but also to call it good.

Somehow, being a thing, having substance, is good.

Why is that? 

I like thinking about it in terms of that word substance. It’s this idea of There is something to you. I can hold something in my hands and it is really there. I can put my hands on your shoulders and look you in the eyes and see and know that you, too, are really there. 

You are there.

Your existence matters

It might ultimately come back to this idea of existence — that it is a good thing to exist. I read once that creation is what happened when the Trinity communed in the perfect love that is their essence, that the natural outflow of such communing perfection of love was creation. (We see this mirrored in humanity, where the communion of love between a man and a woman leads to creation of new life.) 

As such, what God created was good because it was an expression of the perfect love that God shared with God’s self. I can just imagine, upon creation, the Trinity exploding with joy at the beautiful things their perfect love had created. I can just see the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit smiling with ecstasy: Look at what we made!

Seen in this way, all of this known world becomes cause for celebration. Everything, then, is holy. 

What do you think of these ideas?