The practice of Honoring the Body is born of the confidence that our bodies are made in the image of God’s own goodness. As the place where the divine presence dwells, our bodies are worthy of care and blessing and ought never to be degraded or exploited.
Ways to Practice
Name a time when you felt “at home” with your body. What made this possible? Name another time when you felt “out of kilter” and disconnected from your body. What were some reasons for that?
Exercise at your ability. For instance, walk for 30 minutes 3-4 times this week and notice how you feel afterward. What do you appreciate about what your body can do? How connected do you feel to your body? What frailties do you notice in your body after exercising?
- Create a plate of food
- Give thanks for the food and reflect on all the places that provided the food as well as all the people who grew it
- Take one bite and chew it slowly
- What do you notice as you eat that bite? How does it taste?
- Only take the next bite when your mouth is completely empty. Reflect again with the questions in #4.
- As you eat, make sure to replace your utensil on the table.
- Consider how much you need to eat.
How have you honored your body by intentionally eating your meal? Did you eat enough? Did you eat too much? Were you able to talk with people eating with you? Did you enjoy the food you chose to eat and others grew/raised? Do you feel energized by what you ate?
Wash your face with a baptism ritual. On the first splash, say, ‘In the name of the Father’; on the second, ‘in the name of the Son’; on the third, ‘in the name of the Holy Spirit.’ Then look up into the mirror and remember that you are a child of God, full of grace and beauty.
During a child’s bath time, sing blessings over each part of the body. Remind your child that that they are made in God’s image.
Reflect on what you wear. What do your clothes and accessories say to you? What do they say to others? Wear something this week that reminds you of the gift you are to God and love ones. What is it and what makes it special to you?
Pick up someone else’s hand and look at it closely. Imagine the experiences this hand has had. Think of the work it has done and the care and caresses it has given. Look for signs of age and injury. Pray that God will bless the hand and the person whose hand it is.
Reflect on the Sacrament of Baptism
Baptism welcomes the body along with the spirit into the community of faith. Read the baptism liturgy. What reminders do you see in it that blesses and cherishes the baptized one as an embodied being?
Presentation of the person
All: In baptism God claims us, and seals us to show that we belong to God. God frees us from sin and death, uniting us with Jesus Christ in his death and resurrection. By water and the Holy Spirit, we are made members of the church, the body of Christ, and joined to Christ’s ministry of love, peace and justice. We remember and rejoice in our own baptism as we celebrate this sacrament.
Pledges of Commitment
To the Parents:
Do you trust in One God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and do you trust in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior? We do.
Relying on God’s grace, do you promise to live the Christian faith and to teach that faith to your child? We do.
Will you endeavor to keep her under the ministry of the church so that she will one day trust in Jesus Christ for himself and become an active participant in God’s work in the world? We will.
To family and friends:
Do you promise, through prayer and example, to support and encourage your child to be a faithful Christian throughout her life? We do.
To FPCY’s children:
Do we, as the children of the First Presbyterian Church, promise to be a friend to her, to play with her, to help her grow as a child of God and follow Jesus? We do.
To the Congregation:
Do we promise to guide and nurture this child by word and deed, with love and prayer, encouraging her to know and follow Christ and to be a faithful member of Christ’s church? We do.
The promises of God have been sealed by the Holy Spirit in Reese and she has been marked as Christ’s own forever. She belongs to God and she belongs to us.
With joy and thanksgiving, we welcome you into Christ’s church, for we are all one in Christ. We promise to love, encourage, and support you, to share the good news of the gospel with you, and to help you know and follow Christ.
Talk with your teenager about how “honoring the body” can frame our understanding of human sexuality. How does discussing this topic within the framework of a shared practice differ from approaches that are most concerned with warning teenagers about what they should not do?