The Apostle Paul to the Romans:
“I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.”
~Romans 12:1 (NRSV).
Living the resurrection reality is an act of worship. Agreeing to spend our lives for God, no matter how bad things get, is the impassioned quest to give God, and our whole lives, the best of what we have.
Doing this we’re “living sacrifices” — re-made and fashioned by a loving God to love. But, at the level of worship, our love’s directed toward God, which is a self-directed love in many ways.
This is very good news!
Desiring Real Life
Combining the concepts of resurrection and worship mean we wish to be so well aligned to the God-programme that, as far as it depends on us, we’ll get our health right in order to actually live better.
This has positive implications for not only our physical health, but mentally, emotionally and spiritually too.
Just the function of providing for our health — looking after the tent, which is our body, housing the Holy Spirit, making it a temple — is an unadulterated act of worship.
We serve a God who gives us basic instructions to follow. Getting our overall health and wellbeing right, as much as we can, is to live the resurrection reality. Denying our health, by not doing what we can, is putting to death the hope of taking hold of the resurrection reality.
Many aspects of our health we perhaps do not have control over; hereditary for one.
We straddle a knife-edge here.
Those things we have control over we have the mandate from God — control them as much as it’s possible. Many of these we’ll still struggle with. Food intake, in our Western society, is a constant temptation.
But then we billow over the knife’s edge into the impossible world of health beyond our control. I have some noised-induced hearing loss characterised by tinnitus — ringing in the ears. I didn’t protect myself well enough, industrially, and the damage is done. Some of what we’ve done we have to now live with. Yet, some things in our genes we cannot even help. Still, we have to live with what we have. This, too, is worship — to change what we can, but to accept all else.
Worship is making the very best of the living situation we find ourselves in now.
Living the resurrection reality in terms of worship is about keeping our lives simple, disciplined (as much as possible), and holy. That is worship enough for God. It’s a big enough challenge for each of us.
© 2011 S. J. Wickham.