Leading Question: Where does the Bible tell us that we need fresh air?
The purpose of this lesson is to encourage us to get plenty of fresh, clean air. But as with the lessons on exercise and water, the Bible hardly says a thing about the health benefits that come fresh air. The Bible will have to come to our aid indirectly. Where would we start to make the case for fresh?
1. Fresh air to start with: Gen 2:7. The air or “spirit” which animates human beings is a very physical thing, and it came directly from God. Everything about the biblical account emphasis the corporality, the physical nature of human existence. That contrasts sharply with the Greek view that could not see the body or the material world as good. For the Greeks, the ultimate good was to escape from the body into a realm of pure spirit, not spirit in the sense of real air, but spirit in the sense of an intangible entity that was totally unencumbered by the material. Does the creation perspective motivate us to take better care of our world? Better care of ourselves?
2. God gives us air and breath: Acts 17:25. When speaking to the Athenians, Paul was not shy about noting that God gave life and breath to all living creatures.
3. Air: Our responsibility: Gen 1:26-28. At creation, God gave human beings the awesome responsibility of having “dominion” over creation. What then should we do to clean up the air and make it more suitable for people, animals, and plants?
4. Atmosphere: Physical and Spiritual: Rev 21:4. In both Testaments, the biblical authors describe the new world in terms of freedom from pain and sorrow. The “atmosphere” is very positive, both spiritually and physically. To what extent is the spiritual “atmosphere” connected with our physical one? Can we be stronger spiritually if we are in a world where the physical air is pure and clean?