Bodily Christianity

Spiritual growth. Spiritual formation. Spiritual. I use these words because I think they’re important, because I think we neglect these. But let’s not forget the body. Next week we remember our God who took on a human body, and subjected this body to torture and death. And of course, this same body was raised again to life. Judging from the numerous biblical references to the body (both Jesus’ and ours), what exactly does spirituality mean to a Christian? Paul’s words in Ephesians 2:1-10 are worth considering.

About Corey Sharpe

Where do we get our beliefs? Three theological perspectives have significantly shaped my Christian identity: Evangelicalism, the early Methodist tradition and liberation theology. From my coming to faith in a Baptist church and throughout my education in a Baptist school and college, I was nurtured by convictions that emphasized a spiritual rebirth, a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and the centrality of the Bible. Even when I disagree with certain aspects of evangelicalism, it has deeply influenced my sense of what it means to be a follower of Jesus Christ. My seminary studies spawned my interest in early Methodism, particularly its approach to spiritual formation. Its leaders were convinced that only a foundation of doctrine and discipline would lead to a meaningful transformation of the heart and mind. In other words, having the mind of Christ enables me to be more like Christ. Life in a suburban culture obscures the increasing gap between the poor and rich, as well as the Bible’s close identification with the poor. My doctoral work in socio-cultural context exposed me to liberation theology, which helps me see redemptive history as a history of oppressed groups, written from the perspective of the powerless, about a God who is actively involved with the poor in their struggles. I am now the pastor at Huntingtown United Methodist Church in Calvert County, Maryland. Together my wife and I are raising 4 young theologians.
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1 Response to Bodily Christianity

  1. Ann Denbow Simmons says:

    Spiritual nourishment is something that we must seek daily. We cannot satisfy our spiritual hunger with human resources. John 6:38 “And Jesus said, I am the bread of life, He who comes to Me shall never hunger and he who believes Me shall never thirst.” There is similarities between the manna which God feed the Israelite in the wilderness Ex. 16 and the bread of life as found in John 6. Jesus continues in this chapter to make claims about Him being the “bread of life” . The big question here for me is how would I describe my daily spiritual diet and what is the main reason that I follow Jesus?.
    Karen Armstrong in her book “The Case for God” states the following from Basil “But we could form an idea about the divine ‘energies’ that have, as it were, translated the ineffable God into a human idiom: the incarnate Word and the immanent divine presence within us that the Scripture calls the ‘Holy Spirit’.”
    William Wordsworth – I have always found the following so beautiful and moving:
    A presence that disturbs me with the joy
    Of elevated thoughts; a sense sublime
    Of something far more deeply inter fused
    Whose dwelling is the light of the setting sun.
    And the round ocean and the living air.
    And the blue sky, and in the mind of man:
    A motion and a spirit, that impels
    All thinking things. all thoughts
    And rolls through all things.

    John 15:26 “When the Counselor comes, when I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father, He will testify about me.”. Jesus continues in John 16:7 “It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you.” vs.13 – 16 “But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; He will speak only what He hears and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will bring glory to me by taking from me what is mine and making it known to you. All that belongs to that Father is mine. That is why I said the spirit will take from what is mine and make it known to you.”.The Holy Spirit has many roles that it plays within my life.

    Sorry I got a bit carried away with my train of thought! the Holy Spirit is the deep inner voice (counselor) that guides me, directs me and warns me of the areas in my life which God controls and wishes me to obey Him. I literally ask myself daily the following question: Who am I to ever question God? and I also love the scripture that states: “Be still and know that I am God!” (I do not recall the scripture this quote is taken from. Pastor Corey would you be so kind to help me on identifying this scripture text. Thank you!
    Have a fantastic day!

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