Sweating the Creed

I’m ashamed to say that lately I’ve fallen into something of a sedentary rut. It’s not an ordinary rut for me, though. It’s been one in which I’ve been tremendously busy and tremendously unmotivated. The latter is not how I’d generally characterize myself. It’s been sapping, but what’s more it’s been embarassing.

So I got myself back on a program. Diet and exercise. A total revamp of the current pattern. I’m trying, with a little skepticism, one of those online training programs. This one’s through Menshealth.com. We shall see what kind of results it brings, but it seems to be a buttkicker. The diet is probably the toughest part, but I’m sure once I get used to it it will be great (I don’t remember the last time I had anything close to 2000 Calories in a day).

You see, there ought not to be any such thing as an out-of-shape-pastor. It simply ought not to be. The undershepherds of God’s flock ought not to be concerned merely with the souls to whom they minister, but also their bodies. To believe, teach, and confess the Creed is in part to get/stay in good physical condition. “I believe that God has made me and all creatures, that he has given me my body and soul, eyes and ears, and all my members, my reason and all my senses and still preserves them…” It’s a simple matter of stewardship of the body that God has given us. And pastors ought to be modeling that stewardship. He can’t preach on tithing if he doesn’t tithe himself. It’s the same with stewardship of the body. Preaching about the temple of the Holy Spirit is a little difficult where one isn’t taking care of their own temple, where the Holy Spirit has indeed taken up residence.

But it’s even something more. We confess the resurrection of the body. We confess that the separation of body and soul in death is not final. God is going to raise up our bodies and make them new and join them together with our souls on that last day. Death isn’t the end of the body. Life on earth is not the last place we have that body. It’s an eternal gift. We’re going to be living in our bodies on the New Earth in eternity. I can honestly say that I have no clear picture of what that’s going to be like. But Jesus still bore the wounds in his flesh after the resurrection. It’s enough to make me wonder how like our bodies will be then to what they are here in time.

I’ve got a dream. It may sound a bit odd, but what if we were to put workout facilities in ordinary churches? Put a weightroom in the fellowship hall somewhere. What if the men’s club had a lifting schedule? What if the LWML got together and did pilates or step aerobics? It’s fellowship and fitness. I think it’s so far out of the box as to be laughable. And yet I think it does a lot to send the message that we have a duty to minister to the whole Christian.


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