Since I spend the majority of my day sitting at a computer or on the phone, and often go home with a sore neck or a toothache from clenching my jaw, I decided to treat myself to a weekly shoulder massage in these last weeks before the Gathering.

Today the therapist told me that I needed to “have fun and do something creative” to counter balance too much left brain activity. How did she know? Apparently the scalp on the right side of my head was puffier than the left. Who knew? 

I am amazed what bodywork professionals can learn from our bodies. Her insight reminded me of how interconnected our own bodies are. Mental, emotional and spiritual realities often manifest physically, even when we aren’t aware of it. No wonder Jesus used the image of the body to explain his relationship with his people. Not only are we individually connected to Jesus, the divine presence dwelling in our bodies, but we are collectively part of God’s body, the church, many in one, broken and whole. 

This concept of being unified in the body of Christ is one of the many insights young people have at the Gathering. Many youth bear witness to their experience in the mass events, this time in the Superdome, as the first time they realized they were part of a larger community of faith, the “one new humanity” (Ephesians 2:15) of which the apostle Paul writes in our theme text, Ephesians 2:14-20.

 It is my prayer that all young people feel the communal embrace of Christ’s church when they are together in the Superdome in a few weeks, and then return home with a renewed commitment to welcome others into that community, a community made possible through the death and resurrection of Jesus.