Pastoral Musings from Rain City

it's about 'what is church?' it's about whether 'emergent' is the latest Christian trend or something more substantial. it's musing on what it means to live the city, in America, in community, intergenerationally, at this time in history...

Monday, July 16, 2007

Motion and Health... spirit and body

I'm no doctor, but it's pretty clear that motion and health are related. I consider myself fortunate that when, as happened this last weekend, my life fills with sedentary activities and an order of McNuggets, I quickly feel like a rusted appliance. Joints ache, movement is strained, and a heavy lethargy sets in.

Most of the time however, I'll respond to that feeling of lethargy by getting back on my bike, or the stairmaster, or some other motion inducing taskmaster or activity. Then, after a little bit of initial pain, I'll feel progressively better again, intent on moving more regularly.

What's true in the body is true in the realm of the spirit as well, and I truly believe that if we spend too much time sitting on the sidelines as spiritual consumers, we'll end up in an unhealthy space - bored with the life of faith in some or all of it's aspects. This makes perfect sense because, just as a body is made for motion, so also our lives are made for service, and it's only when were functioning according to our design that we're living in the wholeness and fullness that God intended.

Yesterday's sermon was about service and if you're wondering what the next steps to take are, I have a few suggestions:

1. visit the Bethany Website and consider the various ways you can get involved, pray about these opportunities, gather information, and then jump in. Just showing up and getting involved will probably help you discover how you're wired.

2. ask God to give you eyes to see how you might be able to serve either your neighbors or family members

3. Consider Paul's admonitions in Romans 12 and Ephesians 2:10, both of which remind us that we're created in order to do good works. Our calling is to find those good works and jump in.

4. Jerusalem first. That's a reference to Acts 1, and a reminder that it's pretty exciting to serve people on the other side of the world, especially if you're only going to be there for a week or two. But don't forget where you live - because that's where the real proving ground of service happens. Serving one another isn't a monthly check writing event, or an annual trip to somewhere 'needy'. It's a paradigm shift intended to bleed into every moment of our life.

If Bethany's your home church, the vision of making God visible in Seattle is compelling and inviting. And each person who jumps in and uses their gifts will contribute to bringing the beauty, joy, justice, mercy, peace, and healing/forgiving power of Christ to our city. What could be better?


At 16/7/07 11:43, Blogger Ben said...

Hi Pastor Pichard,
Lin and I (You married us last year 7/8/06) were really hit with your message yesterday. And with what you blogged this morning. We find it so important to serve, and we feel "out of shape" when were not. We were walking the isles of the grocery store yesterday discussing the feeling some of us feel of bordem in our faith because we are not fully serving in the community. I have spoken briefly to you about the Nations Foundation, but I wanted to share a little more with you, and since 2 of the 4 of us that our on staff attend Bethany, we wanted to fill in our pastor with the vision and meet with you when possible.
We are bringing Christ to the forgotten snowboard community. Jaro and myself would love to meet with you when possible to share what were doing, hear your thoughts, and pray. Is there a could time typically during the week you would have an hour to meet? Thanks so much Richard! Have a great Monday!

At 16/7/07 11:45, Blogger Ben said...

oops, my cointact info is:
Ben Becker



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