A Clever Verse for Context
“because if you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart (kardia) that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” (Romans 10:9)
Were not our hearts (kardia) kindled when he was speaking to us in the road and when he opened the scriptures for us? (Luke 24:32). When two disciples unknowingly encounter the risen Christ on Easter evening, their reaction is somatic. Whatever is going on in their minds about Jesus’ death on the cross and the sudden disappearance of his body from the tomb, the disciples’ bodies know what is going on. Their physical hearts (kardia) react. As Christians we often think of our bodies as temporary: machines which will wear out while our essence, soul, etc. wings its way to some paradise. And yet the resurrection of Christ and the physical reaction of his disciples remind us that our bodies are an essential part of God’s Kingdom.
The Greek poet Sappho (6th cent. BCE) describes desire as a vividly somatic affliction. In one poem, she describes the “lovely laughter” of her beloved as something that “makes her heart (kardia) flutter in her breast” (see Sappho 31, perhaps in Anne Carson’s translation, If Not Winter).
Clever Questions for Further Reflection
What does faith feel like to you?
Think of a moment when you experienced something holy; how did your body react?
A Clever Prayer to Close
35 But someone will ask, “How are the dead raised? With what kind of body do they come?” 36 Fool! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. 37 And as for what you sow, you do not sow the body that is to be, but a bare seed, perhaps of wheat or of some other grain. 38 But God gives it a body as he has chosen, and to each kind of seed its own body.
~1 Corinthians 15:35-38
Holy One, we thank you for the good seeds you have created. Fingers, toes, ears, and noses, with all of these we live out our faith. Help us to see our bodies as precious and worthy of your love and redemption. Amen