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  • Writer's picturePastor Margot Wright

We Are Created for This- Loving God with Our Bodies

For it was you who formed my inward parts; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; that I know very well. Psalm 139:13-14

These hands and feet. The eyes that look back at me in my reflection in the mirror. My ears behind which I often tuck my hair. All of me outside and inside fearfully and wonderfully made. Created in God’s image I am embodied- I am flesh and bone. So are you. 

As we explore A Deeper Life in these weeks of Epiphany it has been a new paradigm for me to focus on what does it mean and how do I love God with my body?

In reflection upon Loving God with our bodies for my sermon last week, I was reminded of how the 5 Love Languages are examples of ways to express love. Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Gifts, Acts of Service and Physical Touch each express love in their own beautiful way. Exploring how we can use our bodies to express our love for God through the lens of the 5 love languages here are some ideas for your consideration. 

Words of Affirmation:  With a mouth and voice to give God praise - words of affirmation are both how I speak to God and to myself. It was the “speak to myself” part that really got me thinking. In the intimacy of letting my beloved husband know me deeply I have said out loud what had often only been an interior dialog.

At one point years ago, when I was berating myself over some fault or failing, he said, “don’t talk to my wife like that, it hurts me to hear you speak that way”. That memory returned as I considered the love language of words of affirmation not only being those words we speak or pray or use for praise in our relationship of loving God but also in the way that we love God with our words by affirming that we are beautifully and wonderfully created in God’s image. God cares and hears how we speak to ourselves. To love God’s creatures and creation is to affirm that with our words.

Quality Time: I consider that the time spent  in quiet Centering Prayer is a way of expressing love in quality time. To spend time in the beauty of the great outdoors,God’s creation, connecting with God in nature is also quality time. Getting my body out the door into the outdoors is something that embodies that love connection. 

Giving Gifts: Over the years there has been a shift in me concerning how I share physical gifts in love relationships, including my relationship with God. Funding good in God’s world is a way of loving God with what I have. To spend the time and consider the wants and needs of the recipient of the gift by practicing the Platinum Rule of loving them as they would want to be loved, has changed how I give gifts. 

My time, energy, effort and finances are used to give gifts- not always the ones I would want for myself (the Golden Rule) but to consider what would the other person ,or in this case God, want. A reframe of “get to” instead of a message of “got to” has resulted in my joy in generosity. God desires a generous heart. There are so many places in scripture where we hear God longing for us, desiring not the burnt offerings or sacrifices but us.

Acts of Service: Loving God through service is connected to this as well. In confirmation class this past week we read 1 John 4: 19-20

We love because he first loved us. Those who say, “I love God,” and hate a brother or sister are liars, for those who do not love a brother or sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.

To love in action by serving God through the acts of service to all that God has created; the earth, God’s creatures, one another is an opportunity to expand how we live out loving God by doing. Acts of service also include the generous giving of funds and resources. Even as I write this some of our awesome volunteers are caring for our building. Others are getting ready to prepare the altar for Sunday and cleaning up the kitchen. We also recently passed our budget where we can make the connection of how the generosity of monetary gifts makes our ministry possible- it keeps on the lights, employs our staff, provides for the campus we get to share with our community. 

Physical Affection: We are physical beings created in God’s image. The gift of Jesus- God coming to us in the flesh- Incarnation is lived out in doing as Jesus instructed us to do with our bodies. Eat this bread, drink this cup, go and baptize in my name. The sacraments we celebrate and share have a physical element; bread, wine and water connected with God’s word. When we share the Peace of Christ we touch one another with a handshake, a hug, a kiss of peace, we make the peace sign with our hands and extend that peace with our bodies. 

As I have sat with the connection of the 5 love languages and loving God with our bodies, it has increased my awareness of the very gift of being flesh and bone, embodied. I am fearfully and wonderfully made and so are you. We are made for this- to love God with our bodies. 

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