We take care of ourselves to be the church. Otherwise, we fail to follow Jesus in our bodies and relationships with others.
I feel a little strange ducking out of our worship gathering tonight. At my house. As pastor, I’m leading a small band of disciples and this month we’re meeting at my place. But I hurt my back a few days ago. It’s tense, sore, somewhat – more-less – manageable. I’ve tried to take it easy and still work and attend planned activities and gatherings. As I was praying this afternoon about what to do I felt Jesus tell me to ask someone else to host. I needed to take care of myself because I’m in pain, so I can get better. In doing so, I realized I model and give persuasion for our community to do likewise. I already do, but I’m not a great example. It’s something I’m working on, this integrated life.
God is the One who cares for all of life, including every breath, sinew, and molecule. To not care for our ourselves means one part of the church, as a body, is not functioning well. We need community, but we don’t strengthen community by pretending to be full of life when we are empty or hurt. Only when we acknowledge our need can we be well. One must not pretend we are all in one piece when we are in fact broken. This is the benchmark of authenticity.
To deny how we are denies Christ’s lordship over ourselves. And the church, by definition, are members of Christ’s body. The two are intertwined, and shall not be separated even as they are distinct. Lest we weaken the body by not caring for our own body.