Monthly letter from the Clergy
February 2017 This months letter is from our Reader, Ann Edwards
I have just come back from the gym (yes, I think I’m mad too). The place was crowded with people like me desperately trying to off-load the post-Christmas bulge. The miles which were being cycled and walked would have taken us half-way round Britain, as muscles strained on the weights machines and people huffed and puffed as they stretched and bent their bodies into inconceivable positions. The talk (when people had enough breath) was all about diet! Some very serious debate was aired about the merits of the various regimes; are juicers more beneficial than blenders; should I cut out carbs or protein or sugar – or all of them? What is the best method of detox to ensure a clean and healthy inside?
We all felt very righteous and pleased with ourselves as we punished our poor tired limbs. Perhaps we saw it as penance for all the over-indulgence of the season just past. Of course there were those who looked as though they had never eaten a mince pie or a luxury chocolate in their lives – whose physiques were so toned and fit it was obvious they saw their bodies as temples – something to be worshipped. And we know it is important to maintain a healthy life-style, to try to keep our bodies fit and working well, whatever method we choose.
In the Church calendar our Christmas bulge was all the services which were held to celebrate the Saviour’s birth, and it is sometimes tempting to breathe a sigh of relief when all the activity is over. It is easy to relax and think, “That’s it for another year”. But we know that at the end of the month we will be entering the season of Lent, where we look to give up, not just wine and chocolate, but our time and our talents in the run up to Easter.
So in the meantime we can try some spiritual exercises to prepare us for the coming season. Just a few moments each day where we can stand still, be quiet, and take a brief time of contemplation to remind ourselves that the babe who was born in the stable is the same person as the man who in a few weeks’ time will sacrifice himself on the cross; the one whose body really is worthy of worship. You can do this at home, of course, or you could come to the spiritual gym (your local church) and join with others who are doing their exercises, too.
Remember, just as it is important to maintain a healthy body it is important to be spiritually healthy, and it’s not nearly so tiring!