Good morning all! Today I am headed to an event at Collins retreat center near Estacada. I will be there until Wednesday morning…so my devos for two days might be a bit sporadic but I will get them up as soon as I can. 🙂 Hope Monday treats you well!
It makes good sense that the God who got everything started and keeps everything going now completes the work by making the Salvation Pioneer perfect through suffering as he leads all these people to glory. Since the One who saves and those who are saved have a common origin, Jesus doesn’t hesitate to treat them as family, saying, I’ll tell my good friends, my brothers and sisters, all I know about you; I’ll join them in worship and praise to you.
Again, he puts himself in the same family circle when he says, Even I live by placing my trust in God.
And yet again, I’m here with the children God gave me.
Since the children are made of flesh and blood, it’s logical that the Savior took on flesh and blood in order to rescue them by his death. By embracing death, taking it into himself, he destroyed the Devil’s hold on death and freed all who cower through life, scared to death of death. It’s obvious, of course, that he didn’t go to all this trouble for angels. It was for people like us, children of Abraham. That’s why he had to enter into every detail of human life. Then, when he came before God as high priest to get rid of the people’s sins, he would have already experienced it all himself—all the pain, all the testing—and would be able to help where help was needed.
Our bodies are incredible things. Like most of us, I have a complicated relationship with my body. I appreciate it but I also have lots of messages around that tell me what it should be. So sometimes I love it and sometimes I wish it were something different. I am guessing I am not alone in this in our readership. When I was a little girl, my body was something that would get me places. My brothers and I actually liked to play together and we would climb trees and ride bikes. We would play baseball and football and basketball (they would play more than I would in these areas but I spent a fair amount of time throwing a baseball). Bodies were ways that we could get from one place to the other. Bodies were meant to get scraped up. Our bodies were invincible.
When I got into middle school and high school, the body was something that was crazy. It was all changy and I didn’t know what to do with it and this is the time that body image stuff hits hard. Bodies change and grow and do weird things. The body starts to stink and take on qualities that you have no idea what to do with. And bodies are something to constantly figure out…awkward things that they are.
Then college hit for me and so did the need to control my body. For a while, I tried to control it through my food because the world says that skinnier is obviously better. I took more fitness classes because that told me that I could shrink my body even if in college I didn’t know what was healthy or not…obviously because I would turn around and not feed my body with food or sleep or healthy things. Living in Ireland for a bit probably did not help that relationship with my body…we fought a lot,…me and my flesh. Did you have those years? Are you still having those years?
After some years and some changes and some lessons and weight going up and down and everywhere, I have learned many things about my particular body vessel. I have learned more healthy ways to deal with it and that I actually love it a lot of the time. I love that it houses all of me. I love that it can hug and cuddle people. I love that it can feel sun on it and can make me move. I love the way it feels after a good workout or being in the garden for a while. I love that it recognizes good food and good sleep. I love that it relates to other bodies. I still have those days when I wish it were different. And there are still people that remind me that it could be smaller (a woman told me yesterday to lose 10 pounds). I get frustrated at it at times…when it hurts in ways that I don’t want it to or when it doesn’t fit into cute clothes that I wish it would or when it reacts to my stress levels. But overall, I love that it is all part of who I am. I also realize and have heard very much that I will continue to have a complicated relationship with my body as it ages.
And through my complicated body, there is only one way that I would relate to God and that is through another body. Bodies are good and flesh is necessary. If God had never come in the form of human flesh, I don’t think I could have listened. I need a God that can relate to me on that level. I need a God that deals with unruly hair, extra pounds, crying uncontrollably or laughing until it hurts. I need a God who knows what it means to walk forever and feel sun on skin. I need a God that knows what it means when your heart leaps up into your throat or you are so moved that you can’t speak. I need that kind of God.
This is what Hebrews is talking about…that kind of relationship between Jesus and us. We don’t know who wrote Hebrews but we kinda know who the writer wrote to. She/he wrote to a people who were confused about who God is and was. And the answer is clear…a God who knows us because God has been in a body.
Appreciate your body today. Hug someone to remind yourself of another body. And thank God for this body.