Friday, April 24, 2009

Wanderings for April 26, 2009

Greetings to everyone. Have you been able to enjoy and appreciate the weather? My poor cat keeps looking outside, meowing to go out. He'll have to wait until tomorrow.

This Sunday's reading is taken from the Gospel of Luke 24:36-49. It is Luke's account of the resurrection. It's a very sensuous account. By sensuous I mean that it uses the senses: sight, sound, touch, taste. Very different from the original ending of Mark in which we are told Jesus has been resurrected but we don't see, nor hear, nor touch let alone experience him asking for and eating a piece of broiled fish.

In fact, I have come to realize just how sensuous a gospel Luke is. After all, he features one of the two birth narratives, and unlike Matthew's account, the baby Jesus is someone who is wrapped in cloth, placed in a manger, circumcised, held by Simeon. Throughout Luke there is clearly a body, mind, spirit connection. Just look at Luke 1:40 and 1:52. Jesus doesn't just grow, he becomes strong, he becomes filled with wisdom, he receives divine and human favor. Body, mind, soul.

There is no separating the three. And if the three are not separated for Jesus, nor should they be for us.

More and more our doctors, psychologists, teachers, social workers are realizing how strong a connection these three are. When one aspect suffers or is hurt, it can cause the other aspects to suffer as well.

A child who does not get to eat breakfast before school, not only does their body become week, but so can their ability to focus, learn and retain, as well as their ability to maintain a stable mood or be in a good mind-set.

A child who is teased in school may have difficulty focusing on their classes, and they may neglect or abuse their bodies. Sadly, there have been two recent incidents in which teased children saw suicide, destruction of their body, as the only way out of the pain their spirit was encountering.

A child who struggles in school to learn or falls behind may take on a poor or suffering spirit, in anger they may act out through their body, hurting or hitting others, or overcompensating by what their body can do.

It's like a delicate dance that we do: how to keep body, mind soul in balance, in check, working together. That's been a key to our Little Star Program, both the Summer Vacation Bible School part and the After-School part. First, we make sure the children are greeted with warm, friendly welcomes, to let them know they matter. Next, we make sure they are fed. A snack to begin with, a meal a few hours later. This takes care of their body.

Then we spend time doing academic activities: math, geography, logic, language. This develops their mind, and is done at each child's level in a way to encourage and reward them with affirming praise.

Then we take care of their spirit. This is done through worship, scripture, prayers, song, a chance for children to ask questions about God and Jesus.

Body, mind, soul. They are all reached. Each child who comes to our Little Star program is nurtured in this way.

We thank everyone who has been supportive of us, and we also encourage you to continue volunteering your time and to continue bringing in food for Leah's Kids Corner, as all that food goes directly to the youth, allowing them to care for their body, which allows them to care for their mind, which allows them to continue to care for their spirit.

May God bless your day. May the Spirit take you to new heights. May Christ continue to reign in your hearts.

Peace, Pastor G

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