Feast day of Iraneus of Lyons, by Liz Goodyear Jones
When thinking about Irenaeus, words like orthodoxy, sainted and saintly come to mind. Though like all words, they operate in a reductionist capacity when used as a moniker or label.
On the other hand, his most famous quote goes like this:
“The glory of God is the human person fully alive”.
Hmmmm…. The glory of God, is the Human person fully alive. Now that opens something up. When I am at my best, most fully alive and vital, the glory of God is revealed.
Which then says to me, that I am intimately connected to the creator of my life, looking glowingly something like Christ and being powered by the pneuma, the ruach of God. Now that’s an orthodoxy I not only can, I want to share with the world.
I’m reading Howard Thurman this week, that blazingly brilliant preacher and purported to be guide to MLK, jr. (Supposedly Dr. King carried, “Jesus and the Disinherited” written by Dr. Howard in 1949) In it he talks about the religion of Jesus, a phrase I have come to love.
By it, he means to explain how Jesus believed and loved God. The simple answer could be from Irenaeus. “The glory of God is the human person fully alive”. Maybe it goes without saying, but maybe not. The fuel for full-bore aliveness is only one thing, that, which gives us our enthusiasm, our en-theos, our in-Godness is quite simply and clearly, love, nothing else, but love for all humankind and all the earth.
The Reverend Liz Goodyear Jones lives on the Gulf coast, amidst tornadoes and heart problems. She delights in her garden and tomatoes, her kitties and her jazz musician husband, Dave as they explore the evidenced-based, plant based diet as a new lifestyle! Their daughter resides in New York where she is a Director of live events for Gagosian Galleries.