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Renewal in Wellness

Our search for health and wellness invites us to go back to the Garden of Eden where we see the ultimate picture of health. God, man, and creation are at one, enjoying one another. We see completely healthy people who need each other and who stand at ease and unashamed before God in order to be whole and complete. This picture of Adam and Eve in the Garden actively involved with God and His creation sets the context for all Biblical discussions of health, healing and wellbeing. The Garden was a place of grace. We begin our journey to wellbeing with God’s original intention for His creation.

Then in one selfish moment, the perfect health, wholeness, and wellbeing that the Hebrews call shalom was destroyed. Life after the fall was deeply out of alignment and relationships between God, His creation, and the world became filled with fear, guilt, shame, disease, and hostility. 

The rest of the story can be read as the unfolding of the consequences of this great loss and God’s relentless efforts to heal and restore creation and especially his relationship with humanity through His Son, Jesus.

On our own, we are helpless to restore that brokenness.  It is only through Christ and the promises confirmed in Baptism that we can begin to heal our interpersonal, emotional, physical, financial, vocational and intellectual well-being.  

   Wellness Wheel Resources

Renewal in Wellness: Law or Gospel? 
by Chaplain Rocky Mease

The Kansas District’s Renewal in Wellness began with some pushback. Some claimed this effort to be based on Law. At first, I was confounded by this. The intent was based of pure Gospel. But now I see how some may be hearing Law, despite our best interest to profess Gospel.  

Certainly, there is Law in the words that confess and reveal our brokenness. Our broken relationships, fear, obesity, lack of contentment, unfaithfulness to our calling and stupidity – well, I should say, my broken relationships, fear, obesity, lack of contentment, unfaithfulness to my calling and my own stupidity – that is where I stand condemned by the Wholeness Wheel. I don’t ever intend to condemn others. But others stand condemned, either by my words or the words they construct themselves.   

A Renewal in Wellness is not intended to cause guilt or to be an insult. We all need a renewal in wellness because we are NOT well. The Gospel is the means by which we achieve wellness. It is a gift given in baptism.  The question, “Do you want to be healed?” (John 5:6) is pure Gospel. The man at the pool heard it as Law and made excuses as to why he hadn’t gotten into the pool. But there is no doubt that Jesus’ intent was to offer a free gift and that is Gospel.     

Perhaps another “view” of the Wholeness Wheel will help. As it stands, it is a reminder of all we are not. But what if we called it a Wholeness Pie – and each slice is offered freely by Jesus to us. I do like pie. Perhaps that desire is born from my gluttony. But isn’t that how Law and Gospel work? We crave the Gospel because of the need created by the Law.   

The Wholeness Wheel is not intended to be a condemnation of what we are not. The Wholeness Wheel is there to offer us a slice of Gospel. When church members urge workers to take a day off, it is not out of malice, but out of concern. They are saying, “Have a slice of pie,” not throwing pie in our face.   

The Wholeness Pie comes in different flavors. You can relish new relationships, taste happiness, build muscle, experience contentment, savor your calling or eat brain food. “Taste and see that the Lord is good.” (Psalm 34:8)