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Body life

Thursday, March 31, 2005

Luke 24:36-45
Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, "Peace be with you. Why are you troubled and why do doubts rise in your minds? Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see.

"Do you have anything here to eat?" They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate it in their presence. Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures.

Jesus appeared to these men and women in the flesh. Flesh means a lot to him. Body means a lot to God. Jesus touches them, eats with them, and then ... only then, does he open their minds. The spirit grows when body and mind are fed.

Body life can be beautiful and exhilarating. Physical affection deepens so many of my relationships with other people. Of course there are days, and there may be many more, when my body aches, when pain fills my senses, when fear or anxiety seem to be overwhelming. Those days ... I'd just as soon depart heavenward on the nearest flight.

But Jesus lived through his physical suffering, which even included death! That's an example for the ages, and certainly an example for me on the bad days. I remember the story in 1 Kings 19 about Elijah, who was depressed and giving up. First God put him to sleep, then he fed him, then he put him to sleep again. Only then did he open his mind with a gentle whisper.

Eventually Elijah was carried to heaven in a magic chariot (or something like that). And Jesus rose up, up and away. The spirit world took them both home, and it will take me too. For now, I am going to live here in my body as well as I can. Eat, sleep, hug and smile. Breathe deep. And then ... pray with all my heart, and wait for the Lord.

Lord, in this moment let me live like you want me to.

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