If you want to be able to chew food with your own teeth into old age, you have to take care of them. You know the dentist’s theme song, brush and floss. Then, as you get older, it’s brush with an electric toothbrush, and use a water pick, and use a mini brush between the teeth and swish with fluoride rinse, and floss. But teeth take care. If they are not cared for, significant problems can develop.
This is true for the rest of our bodies as well. There are things we need to do related to hygiene, diet, and exercise that are necessary to maintain our health.
The same is true for our souls. There are things that we need to do to tend our being, our essence, our spirit. The arts help to keep the soul healthy. Music, art, literature, and dance all help to feed the spirit. To keep the soul healthy requires silence. Time to think, to remember, to feel, without new input coming in. Just being quiet is needed for our spiritual health. Time in nature feeds the soul. Being with friends tends the spirit.
As those who have been called into the church, we also know that going to church every week is an important part of maintaining the health of the spirit. We never know what may happen at church. We don’t know who will be there. But we know that in that context, in that experience, we will have a needed opportunity to give in some way, and we will receive in some way, even if we don’t know that we are in need. That is the nature of church – of a community gathering to worship, sing, and pray. Something in the mix will stir our souls and move us. Somehow, our spirits will be lifted. In the midst of the surprise and mystery of it all, somehow we become more vital and alive and we contribute to the health of others.
Each night as we head to bed, we don’t think, “Well, should I brush my teeth tonight?” We don’t ask ourselves, “Do I have time for this today?” We don’t look at our schedule and realize that we simply are too booked to fit in a good teeth cleaning. No. We just do it. We simply pick up the brush. Every day.
That’s how is can be with church. Just do it. Don’t ask a lot of questions. Don’t analyze your schedule. Don’t assess your “to do” list weighing the pros and cons. Don’t schedule other things in that time frame. Just go to church. Every week. No deciding. Just show up. And your soul will be fed. Your spirit will be vital. In ways you may not readily recognize. But your life will be enriched.
Lectionary readings for the day:
Psalm 105:1-11, 37-45
Hebrews 1: 8-12
Prayer: We pray for the strength of will to pursue the disciplines that contribute to the health of body and spirit. Amen.