At Home with God - Bodies
All humans have bodies -- bodies that were pronounced GOOD when God made them.
But when sin entered the world, we learned that our bodies could be used against each another and God. So Jesus came in bodily form to redeem what sin had destroyed and to free us to use our bodies for the glory of God.
Although we still feel the effects of sin in our bodies as they grow old, get sick and don't allow us to function as they should, someday we will have new bodies that will live forever, free of pain, sickness, and decay. Until then, how does God want us to think about our bodies? God invites us to bring our bodies into worship, to celebrate the wonder of our bodies, and to recognize our bodies as the place where Jesus makes his home.
These are some of the areas we explore this week as we focus on how our bodies can contribute to our experience of God as individuals and as families.
In a similar way as art and music, our bodies can lead us into a spiritual experience, or be a response to something God has done in our lives.
In the Bible we read stories of people who knelt or bowed their faces in prayer to demonstrate their humility before God. They let their bodies lead them in worship. We also read how David expressed his joy by dancing before the Lord when bringing the Ark of the Covenant into Jerusalem. In other stories, people fell on their faces or trembled in fear when they saw the glory of God. Their bodies responded to God's presence.
In our relationship with God we have opportunities to be aware of how our bodies integrate into our spiritual practices. We can pray with our bodies, sing with our bodies, use our bodies to express our joy and thankfulness, and welcome God's presence with us as we engage in our favorite activities.
Here are some practical ideas for bringing your body into your spiritual practices. 1. Experiment with different body postures in prayer.
- sitting up straight with hands held open
- Kneeling with hands folded
- standing with your arms wide.
Notice what you experience in each of these body positions. How do these body postures change your perspective?
2. Choose a body movement activity that your family enjoys doing together-- going for a walk, riding bikes, playing a sport, having a dance party, etc. As you engage together be aware of God's presence with you. Notice how your bodies move. Have fun together celebrating God's gift of your bodies.
3. Practice giving thanks for your bodies. A couple times a week, ask each family member to name something about their bodies that they appreciate. Thank God for different body parts and how they function.
Here is an idea to add to your toolbox.
Get some 3 x 5 cards or blank flash cards with ring binders.
Create a set of cards with different body postures to use in prayer. Make a note of how these positions affect your prayer time and your response to God. Add new postures as you try them.
Create another set of cards with physical activities that you engage in as a family. Note how you experience God in these times together. Experiment and add new ideas over time.
Quick tip: Color code your cards for different members of the family. For example; all of Janie's favorite postures and activities are on red cards, Nick's are on blue cards, etc. Rotate everyone's favorites as a way of showing love for each family member and to honor how they experience God.
You say, “Food was made for the stomach, and the stomach for food.” (This is true, though someday God will do away with both of them.) But you can’t say that our bodies were made for sexual immorality. They were made for the Lord, and the Lord cares about our bodies.
1 Corinthians 6:13 (NLT)
God made humans to have bodies. It is through our bodies that we have the potential to love, praise and serve. Jesus calls the church his body -- the physical representation of his love -- and asks us to minister to each other in his name.
As families we can encourage one another to use our bodies in relationship with God, to offer our hands, feet, eyes, ears, heart, etc. to Jesus.
Celebrate when your family uses their bodies to do good: to bring a loving touch, help a neighbor, work hard together, laugh and empathize with one another, lift each other up. Notice how God is pleased and intertwined in those acts, loving you and supporting your bodies through his Spirit.