Therefore I tell you, do not worry…about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Matthew 6:25
As the mother of a child on the cusp of middle school, this verse hit me hard. Jesus speaks of worry, a tough subject in and of itself, but it’s his words about bodies that screamed out at me. Don’t worry about your body. If only…
I wonder how many people, like me, grew up worrying about their bodies. I almost lost a classmate to anorexia. Calorie counting and exercise regiments were topics of conversation beginning around fourth grade. A handful of classmates needed daily medical intervention to survive. Others struggled with questions of gender and were desperate for bodies that were acceptable to their families and faith leaders. Some were told that if they didn’t change their sense of bodily identity they wouldn’t be loved. Today I am moved to ask, has anything changed?
Jesus’ words strike me as incredibly important. He implores us not to worry about our bodies asking, “But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will God not much more clothe you…” (6:30a)? At the foundation of Jesus’ words is the assurance that God cares deeply for the bodies God has given us and will care for these bodies as they are. God desires to liberate us from our constant anxiety and body-condemning. And once liberated, God calls us, in these beautifully imperfect bodies, to the kingdom work of loving the other blessed bodies God places on our path.
What if we risked loving our bodies as God does? What might we be liberated from and for in Christ’s name?
See you Sunday…