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Weekly Devotional

Bodies

Reflection by Liz Garrigan Byerly

Touch me and see; for a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have…Then he said, “Do you have anything here to eat?” They gave him a piece of broiled fish and he took it and ate it in their presence.

 

Until children are around five years old, their drawings of people and animals typically consist of a head with arms and legs jutting out of the side and bottom.  It is as if small children are capturing our adult tendency—to act as if our bodies don’t matter; to move through the world as if our heads and the thoughts and ideas they contain are the central part of our being; to remember our bodies only when we need fuel or sleep for all those good ideas and work our minds produce.

Many of the resurrection experiences include Jesus showing his body to the disciples; he is proving to them, and us, that his resurrection was not only spiritual but physical. “Touch me and see” he tells them. I am flesh and bones; my body is real. “Do you have anything here to eat?” I am hungry. My body needs the nourishment and pleasure of food.

These experiences go past proving what God has done in raising Jesus, though. They are a witness to the holiness of our bodies. God did not create us as heads with some limbs to carry around our thoughts and spirits. God gave us bodies—hearts and lungs—so we can more fully live in this beloved world God created. God gave us bodies—stomachs and ribs—so we can more fully delight in this gift of life. God gave us bodies—muscles and skin—so we can more fully know and be known by God, who became like one of us, with physical wounds and hungers and joys.

Prayer: Thank you for my body, God. Help me to delight in it. Amen.

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