The God of the Living

He is not a God of the dead, but of the living; for all live unto him.

— St. Luke 20:38

Let us inquire what is meant by the resurrection of the body. With what body do the resurrected come? Surely we are not required to believe that the same body is raised again; that is against science, common sense, and Scripture. St. Paul represents the matter quite otherwise. A man’s material body will be to his consciousness at death no more than the old garment he throws aside at night, intending to put on a new and a better in the morning. Yet not the less is the doctrine of the Resurrection needful as the very breath of life to our longing souls. Let us know what it means, and we shall see that it is precious.

What is the use of this body of ours? It is the means of Revelation to us. It is by the body that we come into contact with Nature, with our fellow-men, with all their revelations of God to us. It is through the body that we receive all the lessons of passion, of suffering, of love, of beauty, of science. It is through the body that we are both trained outwards from ourselves, and driven inwards into our deepest selves to find God. It is no less of God’s making than the spirit that is clothed therein. We cannot yet have learned all that we are meant to learn through the body. How much of the teaching even of this world can the most diligent and most favored man have exhausted before he is called to leave it! Is all that remains to be lost? Who that has loved this earth can but believe that the spiritual body of which St. Paul speaks will be a yet higher channel of such revelation?