Pray: To open your time together.
Read: 1 Corinthians 6:12-20
Consider: Some thoughts for your group
In the garden of gethsemane, Jesus was preparing himself for the cross. He knew the road ahead was going to be painful, so he went away to pray with his closest disciples. But when he came to them, they were sleeping instead of praying. Jesus said to them, “The Spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Jesus told his disciples, and us, that the process of Spiritual Formation is as relevant to our physical bodies as it is to our soul.
Our bodies matter to God. The physical expression of our humanity is connected to our Spirit. In much of our secular culture the body is treat as a god unto itself that constantly needs satisfying. Our hunger, lust, thirst, and every other physical desire is given priority over nearly everything other part of us. But an undisciplined feeding of our physical passions is not honoring to our bodies and leads to de-formation or the breakdown of healthy living.
Conversely, the church often treats the body as evil, vile, and weak. We are taught that pleasure is wrong and should be repressed or even hated. But this extreme view is also dishonoring to the body God has made and also leads to de-formation of our soul. What God made is good and it is made to live in the right order in which it was designed.
Our bodies are good and wonderous. Paul writes that our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit. We revere holy temples and honor them as sacred spaces. Such is our physical body. You are a living sacred space and God has created your physical self as wonderful, beautiful, and good.
- Talk about your relationship with your physical body. How do you think about and live into the sacred space of your physical presence?
- What are some ways you honor your body as holy? Rest? Exercise? Fasting? Enjoying a celebration feast?
- Paul says, “You body is a temple of the Holy Spirit” (1 Corinthians 6). Chew on that idea a moment. How can we honor and celebrate our bodies the way we do temples and cathedrals? What makes are bodies similar to those spiritual spaces? What makes them different?
For most people, the relationship to our bodies is complicated. Perhaps you have struggled with your body. The way it looks or the way it works (or doesn’t work). When we are young, we want our bodies to hurry up and grow. As we age our bodies breakdown, and we want them to work like they use to work. At each stage, there are things we can learn about our own soul that is revealed in the way we think about and treat our bodies. What are you learning right now?
Spend some time praying for one another. For those who are experiencing physical hardship, pray for healing and the peace that comes with God’s presence. For those who have had a hard struggle with their bodies, pray for God’s vision of their beauty and wonder to fill their imagination about themselves. If helpful, meditate together on Psalm 139:14 – “I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”