Body and Soul
Prayer for June 21, 2017
Matthew describes how the disciples brought many to Jesus who were possessed with demons; and Jesus cast out the spirits with a word, and cured all who were sick. Then Matthew explains that this was done as a fulfillment of what had been spoken through the prophet Isaiah, “He took our infirmities and bore our diseases.” Today we need you to take away the disease of self-righteousness so that we can look upon each other and understand that Jesus was not “sent into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” (Adapted from Matthew 8.16-18 and John 3.17)
In researching what happens when the body heals, I am discovering that a dualistic explanation that separates the body from the soul does not work. The body and the soul are entirely connected. In the process of healing the body, how the brain works in concert with every organ, every thought, and the soul is significant. Interestingly, Scripture never speaks about the “brain.” On the other hand, “wisdom” is mentioned 231 times; and the “heart” is covered 926 times. Human intelligence, it seems to me, always includes physical, mental and spiritual interaction.
In the past, neurological studies focused on how the brain worked as if it were a computer or a machine. In fact, in the 1990s some neurologists were convinced they could heal the brain with the right combination of medication alone. More recently doctors and scientists see the value of using multiple methods that include but are not limited to medication, various psychological therapies, meditation, physical therapies, holistic treatments, and some even recognize the value of prayer. Two books that I am studying simultaneously, one written by a neurobiologist, (John B. Arden, PhD) and the other by a philosophy and religion professor (Paul N. Markham) challenge “a dualistic view of human nature.”
For the next few weeks I am going to attempt to explain what I am discovering that might help us to embrace holistically who we are as people created in God’s image to honor God and receive all of God’s freely given grace for the purpose of recycling that grace into the world to help heal and bless others as well as ourselves. Can we understand that the complexity of life is understood more fully if we accept that we are responsible for how we use our wonderful “free wills” given to us by God to help bring God’s love on earth as in heaven?
Prayer recap: Dear Lord, You want to heal our diseases, and You want us to help heal each other. Help us to give up self-righteousness and to embrace Your righteousness that shows mercy and seeks to save rather than to condemn. Amen.
 Markham, Paul N. (2015-03-30). Rewired: Exploring Religious Conversion (Distinguished Dissertations in Christian Theology Book 2) (Kindle Location 2542). Pickwick Publications, an Imprint of Wipf and Stock Publishers. Kindle Edition.