by Paula Gooder
Read between December 14, 2019 - January 05, 2020
The existence of a view or even the knowledge of that view does not mean you accept it and are influenced by it.
we cannot just substitute body for flesh and soul for spirit as though they are completely interchangeable.
If we locate our humanity entirely in our ability to be rational, then this raises troubling questions about the humanity of people who cannot exercise reason. If, however, we locate humanity in being made in the image of God then all human beings, whatever their capacity, are fully human and they remain fully human for the entirety of their life.
Soul-making implies a deliberate intention on our part to pay attention to who we are called to be and to seek regular refreshment so that we can grow more and more into the people God yearns for us to be.
if we are created to have a body now before death, and will be raised to a body in the future after death, then bodies must be an essential part of what makes us human.
The old creation, symbolized by Adam, was marked by sin and the need for law, and would come to an end; the new creation, symbolized by Christ, was marked by redemption and would never end.
Bodies per se are not evil, imprisoning or corrupting, they are the gift of God to be cherished and nurtured.
people, ideas, books, standpoints etc. are often a complex mix of good and bad (not to mention neutral). So often we are invited to declare something either ‘this’ or ‘that’, when in reality it is both.
what was discontinuous seems to have been his appearance; what was continuous were his scars.
Times of illness challenge us into relationship with our bodies.
It is this body – the one we have, rather than the one to which we aspire – that makes us truly who we are.
the body we have now fits the old creation; our resurrection bodies will fit the new creation.
The glory of our bodies now is connected to being who we are called to be in our context; just as the glory of the heavenly bodies is to be who they are called to be in their context.
The bodies we have now are bodies that move inexorably towards decay and death; our resurrection bodies will move in the opposite direction.
Ageing should not be feared. It is what our bodies, the bodies we have now, are designed to do. Relying on techniques to mask our age is one of the modern equivalents of living ‘according to the flesh’.
The Ignatian examen encourages the practice of taking time once or twice a day to discern what has brought life and what has diminished life during the day.
Christians should live as though they have already been raised to new life in the new creation, but will wrestle constantly with this because they are thoroughly enmeshed still in the old creation.
among the earliest Christians the experience of the Spirit was profoundly ecstatic. The Spirit broke in to people’s lives inspiring them to miracles, to prophecy, to speaking in tongues and many other such actions.
It would be wrong, however, to conclude from this that, if there are no signs of ecstatic experience, the Spirit is absent. The Spirit also inspired people in other ways.
The Spirit is the Spirit and does what the Spirit wishes. Sometimes it is present in spectacular and dramatic form; at other times it breathes the silent whisper of life-giving hope.
No Christian can be ‘more spiritual’ than another but they can be more open to the Spirit and set their minds more fully on the things of the Spirit.
Taking proper care of our bodies – those temples of the Holy Spirit – should be ranked alongside prayer as a Spiritual discipline.
Our experience of resurrection will not just be in heaven but will take place in a renewed heaven and earth.
what we think really does make a difference to how we act in the world; how we act affects what we think about.
The more we become bound by the things of this world that call seductively to us, the harder it will be for us to experience the transformation of the life-giving Spirit.
Who we really are can only be understood in its biggest sense, not its smallest sense. It is our bodies, our actions and thoughts, our relationship together in and with Christ, our lives in the Spirit that all make up the real ‘me’ – or more accurately the real ‘us’.
Ubuntu theology in South Africa rejects Descartes’s adage ‘I think therefore I am’ in favour of the adage ‘I belong therefore I am’ or ‘I am because we are, we are because he is’.
Our bodies are the means by which we relate to others; the body of Christ is the means by which Christ’s community relates to those outside of it.
disunity and conflict can be very damaging to the mission of the Church. Who would want to join a body that seems intent on chewing its own leg off?
Someone cannot declare themselves to be unimportant to the body (12.15–16) nor can they declare another part of the body unnecessary (12.21).
It is not just helpful or generally good to exercise your Spirit-given gifts. It is vital.
What is important to know is that the Spirit has given you a gift (if not more than one) and it is vital for the well-being of the body of Christ that you discover what it is. The body will not function at its best unless you do. It might not be glamorous, it might not be ‘important’ according to human standards, but it is vital according to God’s standards.
If we accept Paul’s view of ‘spiritual’, as that which pertains to the Spirit of God, then such a view includes our bodies, since God’s Spirit gives life to them.
Taking time to take care of our bodies is a spiritual discipline and needs to be placed alongside prayer and worship in our thoughts about spirituality: sleep, exercise, pampering in a spa, having a well-cooked meal with friends are all part of spirituality and we should take care to ensure we do them regularly. They are not an indulgence, they are life-giving.
singing is a wonderful embodied expression of worship (provided you enjoy it, that is). Singing involves the body, the emotions and the brain in a wonderful chemistry of worship. Worship that takes the body seriously needs to ensure that singing, and other embodied experiences, are woven deep into our services, our prayer life and our other times with God.