Prescription: Our Bodies Require Your Attention

Prescription: Our Bodies Require Your Attention

The bioethicist Abigail Rian Evans notes that in biblical Hebrew and Greek the words for health and salvation are identical. Evans says that health – like salvation – is not an individual achievement, but a community responsibility. She looks to Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians (I Thessalonians 5:14-24) as a prescription for our individual and corporate health. Prescription 1: Be Part of a Community to Promote Health The damaging effects of isolation are proven. Being part of a community, recognizing our interdependence, supporting and being accountable to one another is one of the ways we stay healthy. The apostle Paul repeatedly encourages the robust participation in Christian community. It’s good for the community and it is good for the individual participants. At Faith, the congregation promotes health by arranging meals for those who are living through stressful times, visiting with those who are isolated, coming together for fellowship meals that includes those who usually eat alone, praying for healing and counseling in times of crisis.   Our network of caring offers connection, not just through pastors, but through Deacons and Stephen minister and members reaching out to one another. The community Paul encourages is also a place of accountability to one another. Our health defeating patterns are of concern to others. The whole body of Christ is only as healthy as its individual members and the whole body is compassionately invested in the welfare of others. This – I believe – is the reason that our 3b wellness program and Faith’s Biggest Loser and Walking to Jerusalem are such important programs for our church to be invested in. Prescription 2....
Worship Series: We Are Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

Worship Series: We Are Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

Our culture’s attention is focused on care and feeding of the body.  Yet, in religious settings often the only focus on the body is praying for those who are ill and some food at fellowship time. We speak in worship about spiritual health and leave the body talk for another place. Our new worship series is a time to break the silence about our bodies and to encourage us to care for the creation of God that is our physical self.   We will look at the most basic needs that research have proven are essential building blocks of health: sleep, social connection, food and water and movement. Psalm 139 says: We are fearfully and wonderfully made.  Our bodies are vessels of God’s Holy Spirit, which Jesus both inhabited and sought to care for. God’s creation, Jesus Christ’s incarnation, the resurrection of the body, and the gift of the sacraments through water, drink and food, bear witness to the consecration of our bodies.   The goal is not to be young and beautiful forever but to be good stewards – caretakers – of the gift we have received. We want to be a whole person, as healthy as possible – no matter the state of our health – and as capable of service to God and our brothers and sisters, no matter our...