mythologies of Antiquity tell of an originating and distant father-of-the-gods
who swallows his offspring; and of human beings as the slaves or playthings of
the gods. The biblical storytellers imagined the human as a bringing-together
of the heavens and the earth, formed from soil and animated by divine Life-Breath.
On dying, the soil returns to the ground from which it was taken, becoming, in
time, one with each other again. The life-breath returns to the Life-Breath:
God swallowing his offspring, not into the stomach (from where to be passed out
through the gut) but into the lungs (from where to travel to every cell of God’s
being, to employ anthropomorphic imagery). Having no breath in its lungs, that
which returns to the soil no longer praises God. But resurrection will be no
reanimation of a corpse (even Ezekiel’s vivid imagery of bones regrouping into
skeletons, clothed with organs and muscles and sinews and skin and given new
breath is not an image of end-of-times resurrection but of a devastated
community restored in time). When God makes new the heavens and the earth, it
will be the treasure kept for now in heaven that is given new soil, new earth.
For earth will not ascend to heaven, but heaven descend to earth. Christmas is the
foretaste of this.