Thursday, February 12, 2009

Love This Body


For: The Institute of Contemporary And Emerging Worship Studies, St. Stephen's University, Essentials Blue Online Worship Theology Course with Dan Wilt

A few weeks ago I woke up singing this phrase over and over: I Love This Body. Those are not words that would normally come out of my mouth, so the fact that I was singing them in my sleep made me think that perhaps I should also be saying them while I was awake. To be honest, these words make me uncomfortable.

I don't really go around saying, "I love my body," and yet it is the most intimate, miraculous, and mysterious gift of God that I experience every day. One need only read any medical writings to get a sense of how intricate this marvellous synergy of tissue and bone and blood and muscle and all kinds of other good stuff is. Plus, it is intertwined with a unique personality! This body is my most constant reminder that God loves me and is as close to me as my next breath. Every day that I wake up and breathe and run and eat and go to the bathroom and talk and think, I am crazy with gratitude and giddy with delight.

The second concept that came to mind when I heard this phrase was the body of Jesus. His body held the divine and the human within its skin - how, I don't know. And when we drink wine and eat bread in remembrance of him, we somehow eat his flesh and blood and partake in his redemptive life and death. How, I don't know how. Were it not for that body, I would not be alive, so I reverently say...I love this body of yours, Jesus.

The body of Christ is also what the writer of Corinthians calls the church - those who follow Jesus and submit their lives to God. We are part of one big life, one big story, one big moving, vibrant entity. "The beautiful thing is to join with a church that has gathered and find yourself looking around thinking, 'What could this group of people possibly have in common?' The answer of course, would be new humanity. A church is where the two groups with blue hair - young men and older women - sit together and somehow it all fits together in a Eucharistic sort of way." [1] We are this body and I want to love it like Jesus does, like a young man watching his beloved grow into her beauty, flushed with the glow of love.

I had a lot of fun with this project, thanks in large part to a very willing and capable Dean (best husband/sound engineer ever) and my friends and co-learners and lovely "body people" at the Wednesday night group. Every time I sing the words, "I Love This Body," it is a becoming truer and truer. And I also hear Jesus singing it over me, my church group, Montreal, and the world. *broad smile*

Click here for a pdf of the song Love This Body

[1] Rob Bell and Don Golden, Jesus Wants to Save Christians (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2008), 157.


vibesboston said...

Matte, I'm speechless at the beauty of your project. Communion songs always get me and this is a great one!

"This death and life and sacred love". Stunning.

What a marvelous gift of aural/visual/spiritual beauty you've given us. Thank you!

jenwright86 said...

Wow Matte, I didn't think videos could get better than the one where you tell us about yourself...but I was wrong!

Great music and video, I can see how much time you put in and it has paid dividends. God is smiling!


Connie ♥ said...

Matte, I really like your song. It's deeply moving.
God is definitely moving Christians toward a whole new revelation of loving His Body, His Bride.
Thank you for all your hard work!

Sarah said...

That was beautiful! Great job listening to the Spirit, using your creativity, worshipping God, and being inspiring!

Thank you for sharing with us!

kudabu said...

Wow! Love the multi-media presentation!

Anonymous said...

Isn't it awesome that Jesus Christ, our Redeemer, came off that cross, rose, and offers forgiveness of sins, and an abundant life, turning our songs of mourning into songs of joy!... And making our body the temple of the Holy Spirit!


Lynn said...

Matte, I love it! Hurray! I have watched it over and over and over. I just love it. Praising God all over the place ......

Benjamin said...


What I liked best about this song is the repetition of "body." It forces into ones head the idea (or at least a forced meditation on the idea) that in the body we find divinity.

Now don't go accusing me of being a pantheist now!

It would be fun to add more native percussion and wood flutes to this song. I can totally hear it. A big drum too, hit with a huge soft mallet and recorded with tons of reverb. :)

Elouise Mullis said...

Hi Matte

I love it when songs about God and Christianity are so contemporary that they sound nothing like normal worship songs but like something you'd hear in the charts, but actually are all about God and Christianity. Your song is one of those. I love the words and it's very atmospheric. Lovely!!

Shelley said...