Scripture has a lot to say about bodies. From Genesis to Revelation, law and Gospel, prophets to Jesus, the message can be a bit mixed. Sometimes scripture lifts up our physical selves. Sometimes scripture emphasizes how our bodies are less important than our souls.
So, when scripture sends mixed messages, I turn to the gospel. Through the four gospels, we learn about the paradox that is the Incarnation. As ELCA Lutherans we affirm that Jesus was fully human and fully divine. This is a physical and metaphysical impossibility to us mere human beings: an unsolvable mystery.
I believe that God’s taking on a human body in the form of Jesus Christ sends a resounding, world-changing message: that God deeply and beautifully values our humanity and our physical bodies. Studying how Jesus lived, died and resurrected as a human being shows me that God values my physical self. That my body, as imperfect as it is, matters.
This message is an excerpt from “Faith reflections: What the Bible says about body image” by Jenna Pulkowski in the June 2019 issue of Café. Today is the eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost.
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