As we talked about in the message on Sunday, God created (and even began) with body. And the Christian story is about body. At Creation there is…body; when Jesus comes to the earth he does so with and in…body (fancy theological word is incarnation). At Jesus’ resurrection…body. The promise of our resurrection is…body.
Somehow we have lost the message and importance of body. We have gravitated towards “spirit” and “soul” as the only thing that matters. In fact, I would dare say that for most Christians, their picture of the afterlife is absent body and only free-floating spirit (where do we get that?!!?). Hinduism moves towards a place of freedom from body (they call it Nirvana…more than just a 90s band ) …NOT Christianity. That isn’t our story!
Paul understands body. He references it as the very location in which the Spirit of God dwells (1 Corinthians 6:19). He assumes that we would love and take care of our bodies and thus can use it as an analogy as to how men should love and care for their wives (Ephesians 5:28-29). He even goes so far to rhetorically comment, “After all, no one ever hated his own body…” REALLY?!
The Scriptures call us to live life following Jesus in body. And when you place that filter on as you read, it is amazing how much the Word has to do with, or has reference in BODY.
Given the importance of body (even as we reflected on it in regards to sex)…what are the implications of body and living out God’s intended body-life?
- How do we treat our bodies?
- What does this mean for things like diet and exercise?
- What does this mean for habits that affect the body?
- What does this mean for issues of rest for the body?
- What spiritual disciplines are necessary because of and for the sake of body?
- What happens when body is neglected in the spiritual life in favor of spirit/soul?
- What happens when body become ultimate in the spiritual life and has become an idol?
- How do we live out faithful sexuality in this body? (no matter what state we find ourselves…married, unmarried)
- What distorted perceptions of body plagues our mind in today’s society and culture (e.g. magazine cover images, drive to be unhealthily thin, eating disorders, gross obesity)?
- What does it say about a society that the total amount it spends to discipline the body from consuming as much food as it does (c. 33 billion dollars a year are spent on weight loss products and services in the United States) can easily put a massive dent in starvation around the world?
- What if the Kingdom accomplishments that God is calling me to is shortchanged simply because I have let my body deteriorate and become lazy to the point that all I’ve committed myself to now is perpetual snacking and TV watching?
Oh man do I have some repenting to do