1 Corinthians 6:19 – Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body. (NIV)
There is this recurring picture in my mind: I walk into a room to visit the parents of one of our children and see something I will never forget. It is a flashback to those years spent at Flora House in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, where I worked as a deaconess. Flora House is a drop-in centre for children, where clubs are run on a Christ-centred program. Much love can be felt between its walls.
I enter this ramshackle home, obviously very poor, lacking everything. And to my wondering eyes, I behold a most remarkable sight that has stayed with me all these years. There is the newest arrival, a tiny little baby, lying in the bottom drawer of the bedroom dresser! There is nowhere else for it to go. Like the ancient manger, there was no room in which to lay a newborn. The manger became sacred; the bottom drawer was long forgotten.
What other containers for life's precious moments have we long forgotten? Was there a special gift under the tree, a gift that has gone through the years with us? What happened to its wrappings? Discarded long ago? Used for something else?
It occurs to me that the most precious container for the gift of God's grace is our bodies; in them Christ's Spirit dwells. Our bodies are a temple for the Most High, and they go with us everywhere through the years, until we are called home. Sometimes, we are too hard on ourselves; we are tired and feel drained. There are too many cares, aches, and pains. However, I don't want to discard this container yet, for it holds the most precious gift of all. This wrapping may be old and crinkled (laugh lines), but it contains something more refined and amazing than the greatest invention of the modern mind. It contains the Spirit of Christ.
Lord, may you find in me a home. Be it ever so humble, it is still a temple for Your Spirit. Why have I eaten so much? Why did I drink so much? Why am I so hard on this wonderful creation — my body? Lord, forgive me!
Prayer: Lord, may our New Year's resolution be to take better care of our bodies: physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. May Your Spirit refresh our resolve and forgive us for our negative thoughts. We are unworthy vessels for Your abode, but by Your grace and forgiveness, we are asking that Your Spirit fill our bodies and our lives, for this is all we have to offer you — a resting place. Amen.