Day Three, Friday May 22, 2015
“Physically Prepare for the Spiritual Journey”
Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you,
which you have from God, and that you are not your own? – 1 Corinthians 6:19 NRSV
Thinking upon the title for today, let’s take a look at two ways to explore this theme.
First, there is the kind of physical preparation that an athlete does to get ready for engaging in his or her sport. Strength, endurance, and overall fitness are necessary for an athlete to be successful which takes a conscious effort to improve one’s health. Getting exercise, adequate nutrition and rest are all important to build and sustain a healthy body.
The Bible suggests that our bodies are temples of the Lord. If that is true, then it behooves us to take as good of care of our bodies as we can. Our fitness is our gift to God and God’s service. If we are going to engage in the spiritual journey, if we are striving toward perfection, as Wesley asserted, we will do well to prepare our bodies for God’s service. Health and fitness go hand-in-hand with spiritual growth and walking with the Lord.
Second, there is the kind of physical preparation that requires sacrifice and discomfort. Fasting is all but a lost art in the church. But it seems that Jesus found it helpful to fast prior to entering his ministry. Learning physical and mental discipline requires hard work, but is a key ingredient to a healthy spiritual journey. Jesus said that we must learn to deny ourselves as we strive to follow him. Fasting requires self-denial and reminds us that we do not live (or grow!) by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. It is a physical means to a healthy spiritual end.
Let us ponder prayerfully these thoughts as we move forward in our own spiritual journeys.
Gracious God: You are our God; we are your people, the handiwork of your creation. As we walk along this journey of life, may we remember that our bodies are your temples through which we worship and serve. Come, Lord, and live in us that we may live through you. In Jesus’ name; Amen.