“If I tell you you have a beautiful body, would you hold it against me.” My husband has told me that’s from a song, but I first heard those words as a child spoken by my mother.
Yeah,that’s the kind of home I came from. No wonder I entered the ministry.
Yes, I mean you dear reader whoever you are, whatever size or shape or color or whatever you are. You and your body are beautiful.
While our bodies are not perfect, we are rockin’ some amazing feats of mechanics, biology, chemistry, etc. and so forth. The body is part of God’s good and glorious creation. It isn’t something to be ignored and despised. But, and this is a big but. Our bodies are not to be worshipped. Nor are they to be objectified. It seems we can’t get it right. On one hand we abuse the body with all sorts of unhealthy living and activities. On the other we judge people by their bodies. In the church we have been guilty of separating the body from the soul. We have exploited some body/spirit dichotomy. It’s as if all we will hear on Sunday morning is Paul’s words about punishing his body to enslave it. All our talk, preaching, and singing of disembodied souls reuniting with lost loved ones behind pearly gates misses God’s emphasis on healing in the present. For the last several weeks many of us Christians have been hearing stories of healing from the Bible. This coming Sunday is no exception. Our first lesson tells us the story of Naaman’s healing from 2 Kings 5.1-14. Our reading from Mark’s Gospel tells us that a leper came to Jesus begging him, and kneeling he said to him, “If you choose, you can make me clean.” Moved with pity, Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him, and said to him, “I do choose. Be made clean!” Immediately the leprosy left him, and he was made clean. (Mark 1:40-42) God doesn’t despise the body and seek to simply free us from these earthly fleshy casings. God doesn’t despise her creation. Matter matters from the smallest drop of ocean water to richest and most influential celebrity and in between–everything and every body.