Embodying the Journey: A Lenten Worship by Katharine Harts (Pacific School of Religion Masters of Divinity)
Every Sunday during the Lenten season, worshipers at the First Congregational Church in Berkeley, California, found themselves praying with their bodies, not words. I led a series of services that emphasized the sacredness of the body and how awareness of the physical realm can enhance one’s spiritual life.
As Christians, we’re called to action in ritual. We’re called to be movers and shakers, cultural transformers—and that’s an embodied thing. We have a creative and wonderful God, and worshiping through movement helps us possess the good news of gospel through the whole body.
It is always worthwhile to express oneself through dance or breath, but the Lenten season provides an important reminder of the biblical importance of the body—both its joys and pain. There is the beauty and wonder of our bodies and the horror of what can happen to them, whether that’s an injury or cancer or a head cold. During this time of the year we walk toward suffering and tap into our own place of suffering with Christ.
People are always trying to escape what the body is feeling, but I find God in
the center of that. You have a creator who loves you, flesh and blood, no matter
what kind of shape you are in. You can say:
“Here I am, a body like no other.”