Brothers and sisters:
You were once darkness,
but now you are light in the Lord.
Live as children of light,
for light produces every kind of goodness
and righteousness and truth.
Try to learn what is pleasing to the Lord.
Take no part in the fruitless works of darkness;
This is why it is said:
“Wake up, sleeper,
rise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you.”- Ephesians 5:8-14
Throughout our Lenten study, we’ve been exploring ways to act on the truth proclaimed in the verses above: we were once in darkness and now we are light in the Lord. This week, we turn our attention to our physical expression, such as body language, facial expression, posture, and habits of movement.
Our emotions and our thoughts have a physical expression in our bodies. A powerful way to shift emotions and cognitions (our thoughts) is by shifting our body, moving with intention in a way that is empowering, refreshing, and of course, turns our gaze to Christ.
Listen now to the audio conversation!
Remember to be on the lookout every day for the seemingly small victories. Our ‘yardstick’ for measuring these small victories is the fruit of the Spirit. Notice how His grace enables you to shift your gaze from your frustration to His peace. Notice your joy-filled heart as you gratefully speak His name throughout the day. These are victories to be acknowledged and celebrated!
We look forward to hearing your insights and inspirations in the comments at the bottom of the page. You can also share on our Facebook page.
In this week’s audio conversation, we explore another way that we “Seek what is above” and “Fix our gaze on Christ.”
Listen to Laura & De reflect on today’s topic:
Let’s get familiar with any habits and patterns with regards to our body language, the way we sit or stand, how we hold tension in our bodies, etc.
- Watch the TED Talk below. This is the talk De spoke about in this week’s audio conversation (in the Scripture section above).
- Click on the journal page (below left) to print it and reflect on this week’s study.
This week, we offer a Movement activity, in which we prayerfully and intentionally move our bodies into the two postures below. We’ve also included each posture, prayer and reflection as a pdf document so you can easily print them out, should you desire to do that.
Mary Magdalene Prayer Posture
- Move your body into this position. If it is not comfortable to sit on your knees, sit in a chair and allow your upper body to surrender.
- Drape your chest over your lap.
- Let your arms hang loosely by your side.
Kneeling, folding forward, stretching my arms out in front of me, breathing calmly, and resting here relieves my lower back pain and gives my aching hips and legs a much needed break. As I move from kneeling to resting, I imagine Jesus sitting in front of me and I long to bow down and lie my head at His feet. I imagine the scene when Mary Magdalene anointed our Lord’s feet, bathed them with her tears, and wiped them with her hair. I imagine myself loving Jesus just this way and I rest in His presence.
Dear Jesus, as I stretch my tired body and rest for a few moments, I do not need to imagine Your presence. You are here with me, always. Guide my thoughts and prayers so that I may encounter You through this movement and prayerful posture. Amen.
Download the pdf sheet by clicking on the image below:
Strong in Jesus Prayer Posture
Move your body into this position:
- Press your shoulders down and back.
- Chin and chest lifted towards the sky.
- Palms open, fingers spread.
- Legs strong, feel your feet on the ground beneath you.
- Draw deep grounding breaths, in and out.
When I become aware of being stuck in disempowering postures such as keeping my head down, shrinking, hunching over, dragging my feet, I will consciously turn my whole body toward Christ. As often as I am able, I stand firmly on the solid ground of His love and mercy; with slow deep breaths I straighten my back, pull my shoulders back and down, tilt my head up to heaven, firmly place my arms at my sides and open my palms to surrender my anxieties and receive His peace. I imagine Jesus’ grace flowing into the top of my head and filling my body as a stream of life-giving energy. I feel strong again.
Dear Jesus, I stand strong in Your love and mercy. I open myself to receive Your grace. Remove any and all thoughts and anxieties that block the flow of Your grace within me. Fill me to overflowing so that Your life-giving energy flows out from my open hands to all around me. Amen.
Download the pdf sheet by clicking on the image below:
We all know someone(s) who habitaully feels anxious, unsure, or overwhelmed. Commonly, we may tell her that we will pray for her. This week, as you encounter this friend or loved one, amp up your interaction by offering to pray with her right then and there. Let her know how moving your body has helped you shift your emotion or thought and guide her in doing the same. Send her the prayer postures above with an encouraging note.
- What was it like to move your body into the empowered positions suggested above?
- Tell us about the small victory you are claiming this week.
- Other sharing or comments are welcome too!
Dear Jesus, thank You that I am fearfully and wonderfully made (ref Psalm 139:14). Thank You for teaching me how my thoughts, emotions, and physical body are interconnected and in constant communication, one with the other – just as You created me. Lord, I ask that you raise my awareness to my habitual thoughts and movements that block the flow of Your grace. Help me to move, to hold my body, in ways that are empowering, life-giving, and open me to receive the steady flow of Your grace, love and mercy. I pray in Your most Holy Name, Amen.