Exercise seems to be one of the great pastimes in the park by the Parsonage, indeed I can hear people running by in the dark in the early morning and late at night! In the morning it’s the signal to get up and get moving. Other people’s good actions are an encouragement, it gets me fired up for my daily walk, with the promise of a coffee at the end. My iWatch tells me my heart is beating which is a relief and the device tracks my distance and counts the calories expended.
One of the great pleasures of living here is of course not having to worry too much about the weather because we don’t get a lot of rain and you can walk in shorts and trainers. Exercise is of great importance indeed it is one of the ways to ward off Coronavirus if unfortunately, we contract it.
As Christians both our bodies and souls are important. We know that God created human beings and we have two interconnected parts, the health or sickness of one can influence the health or sickness of the other. God made us and redeems us as whole persons, and it’s a Christian distinctive to care about it all — not just the soul, but the soul and body.
But valuable as both parts are, the apostle Paul goes a step further to help us understand the priority. The central passage on this topic is in his first letter to Timothy. Exhorting him to be “a good servant of Christ Jesus,” Paul writes, Train yourself for godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, (1 Tim 4.7-9)
Just as the athletes encourage us to exercise, I hope seeing people coming to worship at All Saints will encourage others to come to the training for eternal fitness in the Kingdom of heaven.