February 21, 2018
Ever notice how concerned Jesus is with bodies? He never says to someone, “your physical suffering isn’t important because your spirit is all God cares about” or “oh, don’t worry about your physical well-being, just focus on your spiritual life.”
Jesus takes bodies seriously. In fact, Jesus is “Word made flesh,” himself a divine endorsement of bodies. Have you listened to your body lately? What does your body tell you today? What holy truth might your body carry?
I know that when I ignore my body, I miss out on some important information about how God is working in my life. For example, I’ve noticed that my body gets tense in certain situations, my shoulders and neck tighten up. That’s my body trying to get me to pay attention to the discomfort I feel and address it. God is calling me to be honest with myself about those relationships and why I’m uncomfortable.
The gospel of Mark is full of Jesus addressing people in their fullness – bodies and souls, minds and hearts. All of it matters. All of it needs to be healed. Try this simple practice today:
pause and listen to your body now
What does it tell you?
Invite Jesus to listen with you.
What does Jesus say?
Dr. Amy Oden
Dr. Amy Oden is Professor of Early Church History and Spirituality at Saint Paul School of Theology at OCU. Teaching is her calling, and she looks forward to every day with students. Her latest book (Right Here, Right Now: The Practice of Christian Mindfulness, Abingdon Press, 2017) traces ancient mindfulness practice for Christians today.