“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your reasonable act of worship.”
In 1971, was becoming more apparent that something needed to change in communities. Soldiers would come home down about life. Parents would lose contact with their children. Students felt like they weren’t heard which sparked the “hippie movement.”
Doctors treated patients like numbers more than people. However, it was also the year Patch Adams would create the “Gesundheit! Institute.” You’ve seen the movie with Robin Williams.
He believed Adams urges medical students to develop compassionate connections with their patients. His prescription for this kind of care relies on humor and play, which he sees as essential to physical and emotional health. He wasn’t the smartest, but his gift of humor and connection was what he brought to the medical field, and he earned high honors for it! The Apostle Paul would have appreciated this kind of stance by Adams. Why?
In our text, Paul makes an “appeal” (urges!) the Roman church to honor God with their bodies as a “living” sacrifice.This appeal is not a request, but an encouragement or summons to not do what Paul wrote in Romans 1:21: “Though they knew God they did not honor Him or give thanks to Him.” In modern terms, he makes an appeal for us to bring something to the community of faith. It is very unfortunate that modern people tend to think the church today asks for money only. Yet as we are talking about in Carroll Springs UMC, we can bring many kinds of gifts to the church. Not just money, but also time. We are not a “name it/ claim it” church. Which means though we are strong believers in prayer, God needs His representative body on Earth to do His work. This kind of giving has brought many to Christ mainly because of how “real” people are when they do the Lord’s work. What can you give of your time and resources to honor Christ? Only you can decide that. Whatever that answer is, let it be a living attitude that does so, and like Patch Adams, bring something to the table. Which far beats the alternative of being a Christian who knows God but does/brings nothing to honor Him.
John Thomas is a Pastor at Carroll Springs United Methodist Church