The subject of this week's sermon on Resilience was "resilient people practice self-care". We were considering how much it matters to care for our physical bodies. The characteristic of God we considered was that God as our creator know how we are made, remembers our fragilities and limitations.
Apologies to Ken Timson who preached, but the recording of his sermon was of such poor quality it isn't worth putting up here.
The essence of what Ken said to us was that we should care for our bodies because as Paul reminds us they are 'temples of the Holy Spirit'.
He looked at the passage from Daniel where Daniel and his companions refuse the rich food on offer in favour of a vegetarian diet and they thrive. Not to take sides over the vegetarian/non-vegetarian debate, but simply to say that when we eat thoughtfully about our body's needs and about the needs of the world and the needs of others then we will certainly thrive.
Here are some other thoughts of my own: you should take care of your body because it is God's gift to you. One of my mantras is "self-care is not selfish" you are the only gift you have to offer to the world, if you do not take care of your body you diminish what you can offer in terms of service to others.
Bernard of Clairvaux, many centuries ago, was onto something when he said that there are 4 stages of love and that we should move through the stages until we reach stage 4
1. Love of self for self's sake - this is the selfish side of the L'oreal 'because you're worth it' campaign. Something close to narcissism.
2. Love of God for self's sake - at least at this stage you are looking outside yourself towards God but only for the ways in which God's presence in your life might improve your life.
3. Love of God for God's own sake- at this stage you love God for who he is and not for what he can do for you.
4. Love of self for God's sake - this is where you take care of yourself because God loves you and wants to take care of you.
Someone else has said that sleep is where God puts back into us all the help we refuse to receive during the day. So we ended our reflection time on Sunday by thinking for ourselves how well we were doing in terms of eating thoughtfully, respecting our bodies need for sleep and for exercise and rest.
Finally my one piece of advice to both of my children when they left the university was "if you ever feel really low sad unhappy and the world looks bleak and gloomy, please ask yourself "when did I last eat a sensible meal?" Never underestimate the connection between your blood sugar levels and your moods.
The second week in our sermon series on Resilience considers how we all need an inner lifelife, a vital sense of connection to God.
Minister in Charge, St Peter and St John Church
PJ's facebook Page: facebook.com/peterjohnchurch
Coventry Diocese: http://www.dioceseofcoventry.org/
Growing Healthy Churches: http://www.healthychurches.org.uk/
St Andrew's Benn School http://www.standrewsbennprimary.co.uk/
Eastlands Primary School http://www.eastlandsprimaryschool.co.uk/
Messy Church http://www.messychurch.org.uk/church/messy-church-st-peter-and-st-johns-church
Sheila's Feel Good Blog: http://sheilabridgeblog.com/