Lutheran Church Extension Fund

The Incarnation: A Physical Wellbeing Difference Maker!

Reading time: two minutes. We have two more reflections on the significance of the Incarnation of Christ for our wellbeing: physical this week and financial next.  When I planned this series, I hesitated and almost skipped these two.  The ramifications of our Lord’s Incarnation go so far beyond the lessons we learn about caring for our bodies and our finances that it seemed a bit silly. I don’t want this meditation to be heard as something so trite as, “The Son of God became flesh so that we would know how to eat better.”  That would be silly. But the Christian teaching about this physical human nature is important for our understanding of who we are, and Jesus has some things to teach us, and some encouragement for us.  Let’s explore!We’re not people who are souls and who just happen to have a body, as if it were some sort of an inconvenience.  We’re not Gnostics or Neo-Platonists.  We’re human; created by God as  one person that IS a body, a soul, a mind.  It’s who we are. I love the post-communion blessing in LSB: “The body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ strengthen and preserve you in body and soul to life everlasting.”  Jesus died to save my soul and to redeem my body, His temple. The Incarnation affirms this, as stated in the Apostles’ Creed.  The Creator of my body (Article I) became flesh (Article II) so I would rise again forever (Article III). Harry Wendt, the author of the Crossways Bible study materials, likes to say that there is a glaring omission in the Creed.  In what he considers a pretty big gap between, “born of the Virgin Mary” and “suffered under Pontius Pilate,” Harry likes to insert “He lived the life of a servant.”  Our Lord’s time in the flesh was a very important time for us as He taught with His lips, embraced with His arms, healed with the touch of His hands, wept with His eyes. And these are important times for us, who live now as the embodiment of Jesus among the people we encounter every day. We often use the term, “response-ability” when talking about stewardship of the body.  We don’t watch our weight or get plenty of rest or exercise because of some legalistic demand to subdue the passions of the flesh.  We keep our bodies fit because we have a loving, gospel motivated desire to get up and go when the Lord says, “Follow me.  I have work for you to do.” I look forward to heaven and a new body that doesn’t fail me like the current one does.  That will be nice.  But I’m sure enjoying the days of this life.  It’s a joy to serve my family, my friends, my community and my sisters and brothers in the body of Christ.  I’m taking care of my body because I’m enjoying it.  I think the Lord still has some things for me to do, and to do with enthusiasm, vigor and joy. And I watch my diet, my sleep, my rest and my exercise because it feels good to feel good. I hope you also know, within the bounds of the limitations that the Lord allows in His providential care, the joy of feeling good and serving well. Thanks for reading. Are you interested in helping bring a Grace Place Wellness Retreat to your region?  We’d love to hear from you.  Contact our President/CEO Randy Fauser today to begin exploring the possibilities.  Let’s have a conversation about bringing our Church Worker Retreat to your area soon!