Restoring Personal Health

Devotional for July 29, 2012

Written by Pastor Mark

Theme Background

When it comes to restoring health, I don’t think education is the problem.  As I diabetic, I know what is good for me to eat.  When I’m confronted with a candy bar and a carrot to eat, I know which is better for me, but that knowledge doesn’t always translate into good decisions.  I once heard a speaker tell an audience that her researchers had discovered the secret of weight loss.  We were not to share this secret with anyone else.  Then she leaned into the microphone and whispered, “You have to burn more calories than you consume.”   We went on to talk about motivation.

Courtney is going to be using a clip from AJ Jacobs today talking about five habits for healthy living.  Constantly keep moving is one piece of advice.  Another is to keep track of everything you eat and all of your daily activities.  These are pretty simple ideas for promoting a healthy lifestyle.  In church we often talk about our spiritual self, but rarely about our physical self and caring for our precious bodies.  Good health is also a matter of balance, of caring for our bodies, our spirits, and ensuring our mental well being.

How do we find health and physical healing?  Our congregation is blessed with many professionals who have dedicated themselves to this field.   We have doctors, nurses, counselors, social workers, people who administer health care programs, technicians, and many others.  We are also blessed with many people who help to motivate others to stay healthy, to eat right, get exercise and stay mentally healthy.  As a country we are struggling to figure out the best way to provide health care to all of our citizens.  It’s a very difficult, complex problem with no easy solutions.

Our bodies are a part of our spiritual existence.  They are the “temple of the Holy Spirit” according to one biblical writer.  In the first lessen today we read that healing is a spiritual gift.  All of the knowledge we now possess about our bodies is an amazing accomplishment.  We can now analyze the DNA of our bodies and find more and more clues to what is making us sick and how to heal those diseases.   Jesus was able to heal people by simply laying his hands on them.  In the Gospel today he heals a woman who has been suffering from a hemorrhage for 12 years.  Then he brings back to life a little girl who had also been afflicted for 12 years.  She had been suffering from being human—the disease that means we will all at one point die.  Jesus also heals this disease.  For the little girl it is temporary (she will die again) but for us it is permanent.  We will live eternally with Jesus.  Perhaps this knowledge can help us to make better choices with our health care dollars.  We spend around 75% of our health care dollars on the last 20 days of life.  If we could accept our mortality and trust in the gift of eternal life we might free up precious resources to help those most in need with the basics of health and healing.

Quotes for the Week

“Obesity is the leading medical reason young adults are not qualified to serve. Obesity rate among children and young adults have increased dramatically in recent decades.  By now most of us have heard that in the past 30 years, child obesity rates have more than tripled.”    Paul D. Monroe, Major General (Retired) United States Army

My doctor told me to stop having intimate dinners for four.  Unless there are three other people.”                                       Orson Wells

“The secret to staying young is to live honestly, eat slowly, and lie about your age.”                                                                                                             Lucille Ball

“I’ve been on a diet for two weeks and all I’ve lost is two weeks.”   Totie Fields Calendar


1st Lesson: 1st Corinthians 12:4-12 (NRSV)

4 Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; 5 and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; 6 and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone. 7 To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. 8 To one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, 10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the discernment of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are activated by one and the same Spirit, who allots to each one individually just as the Spirit chooses. 12 For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ.

Gospel Lesson: Mark 5:21-43 (NRSV)

When Jesus had crossed again in the boat to the other side, a great crowd gathered around him; and he was by the sea. 22 Then one of the leaders of the synagogue named Jairus came and, when he saw him, fell at his feet 23 and begged him repeatedly, “My little daughter is at the point of death. Come and lay your hands on her, so that she may be made well, and live.” 24 So he went with him. And a large crowd followed him and pressed in on him. 25 Now there was a woman who had been suffering from hemorrhages for twelve years. 26 She had endured much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had; and she was no better, but rather grew worse. 27 She had heard about Jesus, and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, 28 for she said, “If I but touch his clothes, I will be made well.” 29 Immediately her hemorrhage stopped; and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease. 30 Immediately aware that power had gone forth from him, Jesus turned about in the crowd and said, “Who touched my clothes?” 31 And his disciples said to him, “You see the crowd pressing in on you; how can you say, ‘Who touched me?'” 32 He looked all around to see who had done it. 33 But the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came in fear and trembling, fell down before him, and told him the whole truth. 34 He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease.” 35 While he was still speaking, some people came from the leader’s house to say, “Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the teacher any further?” 36 But overhearing what they said, Jesus said to the leader of the synagogue, “Do not fear, only believe.” 37 He allowed no one to follow him except Peter, James, and John, the brother of James. 38 When they came to the house of the leader of the synagogue, he saw a commotion, people weeping and wailing loudly. 39 When he had entered, he said to them, “Why do you make a commotion and weep? The child is not dead but sleeping.” 40 And they laughed at him. Then he put them all outside, and took the child’s father and mother and those who were with him, and went in where the child was. 41 He took her by the hand and said to her, “Talitha cum,” which means, “Little girl, get up!” 42 And immediately the girl got up and began to walk about (she was twelve years of age). At this they were overcome with amazement. 43 He strictly ordered them that no one should know this, and told them to give her something to eat.


Questions for the Week

1. How is your personal “temple of the Holy Spirit” doing?

2. How can we improve the physical health of our community?

3. What is one small step you could take this week to be more healthy?

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