Flesh and spirit

         If you live according to the flesh, you will die;
but if by the Spirit you put to death
the deeds of the body, you will live.
                   —Romans 8.13

In living by the flesh
Paul doesn’t mean sex and chocolate.
It doesn’t mean the body is bad.
(The Word was made flesh!)
Living according to the flesh means living
as if “you“ are just this individual
enclosed in your body.

Instead—mystery!— by the Holy Spirit’s grace
you are not one isolated individual:
you are a cell in the whole cosmic body of Christ.
“You“ include everything.
Like your breath, which is not just what’s in your lungs,
it’s what you breathe
which is the air all around you,
all around the earth, one atmosphere
in everybody’s lungs,
one breath, One spirit, one body.

You are not your little finite mortal flesh,
you are our vast living Body.
We are the rest of you.
(So you really do love your neighbor as yourself.)
Living by the Spirit is mindfulness
of your belonging in the Holy One,
empowered and guided by God’s infinite love,
your every word and deed
an act of love for the Whole and its members.
This is what it is to really, truly live.

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light

May 27, 2021

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