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Body Improvement?

So this week I invite you to take notice every time you see or hear a message about body improvement. Every pill, or exercise machine, or special gym membership, or tanning bed; every liposuction clinic and celebrity endorsed diet plan. All of it. Notice the obsession our culture has with stretching and tanning and increasing and decreasing our flesh into submission to some sort of bizarre ideal. Then, in contrast, notice every time this week that you see or hear this: “And the Word became flesh and lived among us, in this we have seen God’s glory, full of grace and truth … you have received the power to be Children of God. Through the fullness of God’s Word made flesh you have received grace upon grace.” (John 1:14-16)

That is a different message entirely. In other words, our youth-obsessed body-improvement culture in which we find ourselves tells us that we can avoid any appearance of our own mortality through the right combination of elective surgery and Pilates. In the end, this is nothing but a simple fear of death itself. But what God tells us in the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Christ is that we need not fear our mortality in the first place because it simply is not the final word. Death has no sting when it cannot separate us from the love of God in Christ. So we need not fear it nor deny it.

- Nadia Bolz-Weber, "Word Made Flesh, and the Indignity of Having a Human Body,"
Sojourners God's Politics blog, 01-03-2011