This article by Betty Hollinrake was found in the December 1985 issue of Progress, the monthly magazine of the Romford United Reformed Church
N.B. this article was written during the lead up to Christmas.
It is an appropriate coincidence that the letter for this issue [December 1985] is J which is for Jesus who took an earthly body at His birth, which we celebrate at this time of year. As far as we know, He did not suffer from any ailments, but He did not abuse His body either. He needed His body so that we could see God's spirit working in our world. Our own bodies provide our spirits with the means to carry on God's work, so we have a responsibility to try to understand it and keep it in good working order.
J is also for joints that provide our body with the ability to move about. They are formed where two bones meet, and the majority are enclosed in a balloon like structure called a capsule. The ends of the bones are covered with a smooth, tough substance called cartilage that is kept lubricated, so that the joint moves easily.
The weight baring joints (e.g. hips and knees) take quite a heavy load and need regular rests (when we sit or lie down) to relieve the pressure on the joint surface and allow them to recover. You can understand from this that if we remain standing for long periods without a break, or are overweight then the pressure on the cartilage is excessive and there is a tendency for the cartilage to begin to wear away. This is the beginning of arthritis. So - treat your joints gently.