Your support is helping expand Progressive Christianity. We are one of the largest sources for progressive theological perspectives, as well as our thousands of resources. It is hard to overstate their value – every time you donate it expands our ability to do all those essential offerings even better. DONATE NOW!

A Joyful Path, Year Three – Week 19: Our Bodies As Home And Temple — Story: My Body Is My Temple

For Classroom or Home School

 

 
Week 19: Winter
Lesson 15: Our Bodies as Home and Temple

I honor and care for my body.

Getting to the Heart of the Lesson

The phrase, “You are what you eat,” is a clever way to encourage us to make healthy choices around food. It helps us appreciate that what we put into our bodies influences how our body feels and what our body becomes. But “food” is not only physical nutrients. Foodis also the thoughts we think, the activities in which we participate, and the ways we care for our physical bodies with movement, rest and relationships with others. In this week’s story, Tessa suggests that loving our bodies is not only about how we dress our body or judge its shape, but also the other ways we feed and tend our bodies spiritually, physically, mentally and emotionally. This week’s lesson, “My Body is a Temple,” is a time to commune with the spark of Divinity that dwells in each of us. We all feel some amount of pressure for our bodies to look and feel a certain way, but when we see our body as a temple, just as it is, we can learn to honor every part of us and celebrate our unique Divine physical beauty.

Teacher Reflection

Some reading and a 10-20 min exercise (more if you have time and wish to take it) so you are able to experience the teachings offered through this lesson.

Our body, as a temple, is a two-way street. It is a good idea to honor the temple and to take care of it. It is also an important practice to consult the temple – to consciously spend time there – receiving the guidance and wisdom it provides. In what ways, this week, might you invite both practices?

Option 1 — If loving yourself physically is difficult, make a point this week of putting yourself in front of the mirror and looking at yourself with adoration. Remember you are more than the stories you have been told or you tell yourself. In fact, you are a spark of the Divine, with oceans in

your blood and stardust in your bones. The air you breathe has been in the lungs of trees and beings for longer than our minds can comprehend. We are ancient. We are vast. We are whole. You are Divine and your body is the temple that expresses all of this. At least three times this week (every time you are near a mirror if you can), make eye contact with yourself and, with as much authenticity as you can, say, “I love you, [your name].” If it will support you, print out this week’s Affirmation page and stick it to a mirror where you will see it regularly.

Option 2 — What is your temple requesting this week? A yoga class? A bike ride? Time for a swim? Maybe a homemade meal using organic ingredients? Enjoy a visit to your Farmer’s Market or other favorite spot for fresh produce (NOTE: Consider buying extra if you are going to do Activity Two below this week). During a meal this week, consider that you are in communion with the abundance there. Just as you are “choosing” the ingredients of your food, the fruits and vegetables are choosing you, offering their nutritional properties and minerals for your health and vitality. Is your body inviting you to drink more water? Or to enjoy a favorite dessert with a friend? Maybe your body is inviting you to schedule a massage, take a hot bath, or go to bed early. Choose a day or evening, when you will tend your temple. Listen to the messages your temple shares when you spend time there. Appreciate yourself. Give thanks for this physical-mental- emotional body that holds your spirit in this life.

Read through the lesson before your time with the children. Decide which Activity Exploration will work best for your class (There are usually two options; choose one). Just below the heading, “Children’s Lesson and Story” you will find the preparations checklist for this lesson so you can collect any needed materials or make arrangements to support your selected activity.

Sacred Text Quotes

Hebrew Scriptures. Leviticus 19:1-2 (NRSV)

And the Lord said to Moses, “Say to all the congregation of the people of Israel, ‘You shall be holy; for I the Lord your God am holy.’”

Hebrew Scriptures. Psalm 139:13-15 (NRSV)

For it was you who formed my inward parts; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; that I know very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth.

Christian Scriptures. 1 Corinthians 3:16 (NRSV)

Do you not know that you yourselves are God’s temple, and the Spirit of God dwells in you?

Islam. Qur’an 40.64, 65

It is God who has made for you the earth as a resting place, and the sky as a canopy, and has given you shape – and made your shapes beautiful – and has provided for you sustenance of things pure and good; such is God, your Lord. So glory to God, the Lord of the Worlds!

Islam. Qur’an 15.29

I have breathed into man of My spirit.

Buddhism. Mahaparinirvana Sutra 214

Every being has the Buddha Nature. This is the self.

Wisdom Quotes

The moment I have realized God sitting in the temple of every human body, the moment I stand in reverence before every human being and see God in him – that moment I am free from bondage, everything that binds vanishes, and I am free.” ― Swami Vivekananda

If God took a selfie, it would look like you. ― Eleanor Brownn, author

FAT DOES NOT=UGLY. Love Yourself. Eat like you love yourself. Drink water like you love yourself. Dance & move your body like you love yourself. Next time someone calls you fat, remember you’ve got fat in your body just like them. And having fat is beautiful. ― Lizzo, music artist, in Allure magazine

Self-care is in the little moments — bathing, sweating, washing your hair. It’s in laughing so hard you can barely catch a breath, your lungs expanding on a morning jog… now more than ever we need to enjoy the quiet within ourselves. ― Lizzo, music artist, on Instagram

Be sure to click here to download the Teaching Introduction and Instructions.

Review & Commentary