Day Twenty Nine: Love God in the World of the Flesh

In his Advent Oratorio, W.H. Auden counsels “love him [God] in the world of the flesh.” God’s world is beautiful and deserves our love and appreciation.

The apostle Paul describes the body as the temple of the Spirit and invites us to glorify God in our bodies. There are many ways to glorify God in embodiment, but some of the most helpful involve movement and exercise, healthy eating habits, meditation, rest and stress-reducing techniques, and healthy touch. We can love God in the world of our flesh by appreciating the wonder of embodiment. This may involve letting go of the negative messages of the media, family of origin, and society and discovering that we are beautiful just as we are – wrinkled, short, tall, slender, or overweight.

Practicing healthy embodiment involves honoring your body as it is right now, and then moving forward with appropriate health practices. (If you do not have a health practice or have health risk factors, please consult your physician.)

We begin the journey with creative affirmations:
My body is the temple of God.
My body is beautiful just as it is.
I glorify God in my body.
I love God by caring for my body.
Aging brings forth greater beauty of mind, body, and spirit.

Visualize God’s light flowing through your body, from head to toe, enlivening and enlightening every cell of your body. God’s light energizes all things from your cell to your soul. Let God’s light shine in and through your body.

Bruce Epperly is a theologian, spiritual guide, healing companion, retreat leader and lecturer, and author of nineteen books, including Holy Adventure: 41 Days of Audacious Living; God’s Touch: Faith, Wholeness, and the Healing Miracles of Jesus; and Tending to the Holy: The Practice of the Presence of God in Ministry. He has taught at Georgetown University, Wesley Theological Seminary, Claremont School of Theology, and Lancaster Theological Seminary. He is currently theologian in residence at St. Peter’s United Church of Christ in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. He can be reached at bruceepperly@gmail.com

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About Bruce Epperly

Rev. Bruce Epperly, Ph.D., serves as Pastor at South Congregational Church, United Church of Christ, Centerville, MA. Prior to coming to Cape Cod in 2013, he served on the faculties and often in administrative and chaplaincy roles at Georgetown University, Claremont School of Theology, Wesley Theological Seminary, and Lancaster Theological Seminary. Bruce is currently a professor in spirituality, ministry, and theology in the doctoral program at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington D.C. He has served as pastor or interim pastor of congregations in Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. He is the author or co-author of over 35 books in the areas of theology, spirituality, ministerial excellence and spiritual formation, scripture, and healing and wholeness, including Process Theology: Embracing Adventure with God; Finding God in Suffering: A Journey with Job; From Here to Eternity: Preparing for the Next Adventure; and A Center in the Cyclone: Clergy Self-care in the 21st Century.


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