Saturday, February 17, 2007

Becoming a New Creation

So, I’m still trying to lose weight. I’ve joined a gym which I’ve now coupled with my diet plan (aka ‘new lifestyle nutrition strategy’). So far, so good.

While I’m blasting fat on the stair climber (stair masters are for wussies), I’ve been listening to NT Wright lectures. They’ve been both a refreshment and a challenge to me. He’s clearly in the evangelical Anglican camp, but that’s a far cry from where the North American evangelicals set up their tents.

He’s been talking about what he calls “life after life after death.” What the bible calls the “New Creation.” He’s quite right when he says that the bible says nothing about going to heaven when you die, and even suggests that getting our ticket to heaven is not the point of the bible. He lambastes much of our hymnody that focus on heaven as the ultimate goal when the bible makes little or no mention of it as a specific place we go when we die.

This jibs well with what we heard at the Synod Study Conference where we heard that salvation is not about getting your ticket punched at the door of heavenly bliss, salvation is about being liberated and healed – for life in God’s world.

While we covered much of this in seminary, and I’ve heard much of the same from thoughtful preachers through the years, it’s been a profound affirmation that our ministry is about proclaiming the kingdom of God that has come among us in Jesus. The kingdom of peace, healing, forgiveness, and renewal.

For me, that’s the heart of what it means to be a follower of Jesus.

I see my exercise regimen as part of God renewing me. Stairclimbers and cottage cheese are part of the process of me and God remaking my body as a worthy temple of the Holy Spirit. And with my body, my soul and mind, since all are connected.

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