During this pandemic and the Commonwealth’s stay at home orders, a couple of my kids and I have been making the most of this family time to work out together in the morning before we all get going with our daily routines.  In many ways, this has been an unexpected blessing.  I appreciate the time to bond with my kids in this way, and it’s making all of us healthier.

One of the important aspects of the workouts is the beginning – the warm ups and the stretches.  As the body ages, it’s important that you don’t just jump in to a workout, but instead you warm the muscles up and get them used to doing things.  That way you don’t injure yourself.  Sound advice.

Likewise, the stretching is really important to ensure that you don’t hurt yourself, which would mean time off from working out. It would also mean that the injured muscle would lose whatever gains you had from all the previous workouts.  And again, as the body ages, that loss happens quicker and it more difficult to get back.

All this talk about warm ups and stretching has me thinking about theology.  In what ways do we warm up and stretch theologically when we approach life?  Or are we just diving in hoping that we won’t hurt ourselves (or others) with our cold theology?

What is cold theology?  I would say it’s theology that hasn’t been thought through very much.  It’s theology that is more worried about following the letter of the law, rather than a theology that is warmed up and stretched, ready for some difficult workouts.

A difficult theological workout would be something like this – how do we care for people in the time of social distancing?  How do we see the image of God in our enemies?  What do we do about homelessness in a time of stay at home orders?  How to deal with hunger and poverty in a nation that is wealthier than any nation in history?  How do we deal with idolatry in our time?  What are the idols of our time?

We need to be warmed up and stretched in order to deal with such difficult theological workouts.  Otherwise, we’re likely to hurt ourselves, or others.  And then we’ll lose any theological muscle we might have gained.

Maybe I’ve taken the analogy too far – pulled a muscled?  I don’t know.  At any rate, how are you warmed up and stretched to face the daily challenges?