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Life in the body - Pastor's Pen for 14th April 2024

There are numerous scriptures pointing to the balance between spiritual and physical life, such as this from Paul's mentoring of Timothy; "For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come." (1 Tim 4:8)

The Greek worldview had the unfortunate side effect of introducing a split in Christian thinking about body and soul in the early church, in a sense prioritising the spiritual over the physical. Biblically speaking, we need to watch out for this, called as we are to live in the body for the time available to us. We live our spiritual life in a physical body, according to the wisdom from God's word, aided by the Holy Spirit.

It seems like a tough assignment sometimes, difficult to make progress or effect change. It can be frustrating. Jane Shaw writes; "We yearn for transformation, but we do not make it happen: God does, by the power of the Holy Spirit. Our job is to be fully present and receptive, so that the Holy Spirit can work in our lives. Participation in this mystery is an assent to opening ourselves up to being transformed, to committing ourselves as disciples in the transformation of the world."

By the time I get to the trail pictured above, running from home, I've already been out a while and there is still a good distance to get home. Most times, something is hurting, that's just a feature of age and stage. But the mind and spirit can keep the body on track to reach the destination, while being fully present to fatigue and even pain. There's no way to allow the soul to fly off to a happy place in this situation, you have to just run home. This serves as a metaphor of life in general, the journey can be challenging, but God who is mystery, can sustain us in spirit, by His Spirit. We can not only make it, but rejoice in Him along the way.

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