Friday, December 14, 2012
Fit to Serve
The past several months I have read several disturbing reports about the general health of the populace. Now, I have a pretty good habit of cherry picking reports and studies. I particularly liked the study that infers that 4 cups of coffee a day for adult males may reduce diabetic risk by 50%. Now that’s what I call a really good study. Particularly impressive in my book are any studies that suggest chocolate is a good thing. And of course, we certainly can appreciate even more how Jesus was way ahead of the health curve by making 280 gallons of water into wine. But for all the studies to which I have an affinity, there are too many others that suggest that there is a crisis upon us. Life expectancy for the least educated has declined. Obesity and diabetes have become a national epidemic.
Why should these matters concern us as Christians? I think I can better phrase that by asking, how can these matters not concern us as Christians. We serve and proclaim the Great Physician. And John shares these words of Jesus before Jesus says he is the Good Shepherd, “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10b NRSV)
The recent push to improve our financial condition is a part of a more encompassing emphasis that we need to be “Fit for Life, fit to serve.” We need to be fit in our spiritual, physical, and economic health. The faith demands our all: our body, mind, and spirit. What can make us more fit? What can we give up? And what can we begin? There is something we can all do to have a healthier lifestyle for our world and ourselves. It is a matter of faith and practice. God calls us to wholeness. In that calling we will discover afresh and anew our interconnectedness.
Steve Ayers is the pastor of McGill Baptist Church in Concord, NC. This article originally appeared in their church newsletter, The Way.