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Corner of Church St and Market St Wollongong Sunday 8am, 9:45am +livestream, 11:30am Easy English, 5pm and 7pm
I previously trained and worked in the Exercise Physiology field, so the fact that the Bible says “physical training is of some value” was taken by me and my fellow students that we were doing work approved by God. But of course that’s not all the verse says. For those who know their Bible well you would know it comes from Paul’s first letter to Timothy, specifically 4:7b-8 “… train yourself to be godly. For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come”. Paul continues to write “This is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance. That is why we labour and strive, because we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Saviour of all people, and especially of those who believe.”
So while it is important that we be healthy and do physical activity, how could we combine exercise with training for godliness? As a new mum last year I struggled to find the triple combination – time to sit down, energy to stay awake and have free hands – in order to read my bible. After chatting with another mum, she said she’d found a podcast where someone read the bible. And so on my daily walks pushing the pram, I marvelled at God’s creation (the baby and beautiful coastal views) and listened to His Word. These days I enjoy going for a walk or cycling and try to think how I could use the time to train myself in godliness. Sometimes I listen to a podcast of sermon audio (re-listening to the Job series has been beneficial) or I listen to Christian music and try hard not to sing His praise! Other days I pray and sometimes I just reflect on this world God has created and marvel at how good He is.
I am also very encouraged by what I know and see other staff and St Michael’s members doing. Stacey is known to come to work with joggers on, so she can establish and equip others during one-to-one meetings with people walking around town rather than sitting still. We all know of Reg’s bike path ministry (and wish him a speedy return) and the many opportunities he’s had to engage and evangelise people. Several staff wear their “Jesus Is _____.” running shirts while pounding the pavement. There are the walking and running groups who enjoy fellowship with each other. Recently I’ve discovered a toddler learning to walk and run is a real conversation-starter as I wander to the park, and its created lots of opportunities to engage with my neighbours.
If you’ve been exercising more this year as an excuse to get out of the house or recently returned to community sport, perhaps consider how you could use these opportunities to train in godliness and share with others your hope in the living God?
Parish Administrator and 9:30am Congregation