Lutheran Church Extension Fund

Risen and Brand New: Spiritual Health!

Reading time: two minutes. An old Fleetwood Mac song begins, “I can’t help it about the shape I’m in; I can’t sing, I ain’t pretty and my legs are thin.”  I feel that way a lot of the time.  Sadly, the song is called, “Oh crosswhitefabricWell.”  Aren’t you thankful that Jesus would never say to you, “Oh well!”?  He’s got better plans for us. Paul said it like this: “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.  The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20).  Spiritual health is the resurrection of Jesus Christ, living in me.  That’s not a make-over.  That’s a miracle and an adventure. Isn’t it exciting to see what God is up to next?I don’t need a new me.  I don’t need a better shape, singing lessons, cosmetic surgery or shapely legs.  (Oh well).  I need Jesus. In Luther’s commentary on the Galatians passage he says, “Christ and I must be so closely Man Half Face Laughingattached that He lives in me and I in Him.  What a marvelous way of speaking!  Because He lives in me, whatever grace, righteousness, life, peace and salvation there is in me is all Christ’s; nevertheless, it is mine as well, by the cementing and attachment that are through faith” (AE 26:167-168). My wife doesn’t need a new me.  She needs Jesus in me.  My church doesn’t need a new me.  It needs Jesus.  The world in which I live needs Jesus desperately, and so He comes to me, lives in me, speaks to me, shapes and molds me, guides me, uses me, speaks and serves through me. I spend a good portion of my day each day getting in His way.  Spiritual health is simply a matter of drowning my old sinful nature in repentance and being made alive by the power of His grace in me.  Dying and rising.  Jesus alive in me.  His righteousness now my righteousness.  His peace and hope and joy now mine. How does He do this?  The way He does everything: He speaks.  He speaks to me in His Word, Bible in lapand in His word in material form, the waters of my baptism and the gift of His true body and blood.  He speaks to me in the Word of forgiveness proclaimed by my pastor and in the precious Gospel. No matter what shape you’re in, Jesus has a new beginning in store for you, right now, today.  Time in His Word is spiritual health. And when He is in us, singing with us praise to our heavenly Father, it makes the song pretty. Thanks for reading. Do you serve in a multiple staff setting in a church, Lutheran school, university or social service ministry?  Discover how a Ministry Team Wellness Workshop can help enhance your team ministry by building the unity, spiritual life and communication essential to partnership in ministry.  Contact Program Director Darrell Zimmerman for more information.