Step one: (Read the text)
Take a few moments and read the appointed text from Paul’s letter to the Corinthians for Sunday, January 24th. 1 Corinthians 12: 12-31a.
12For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ.13For in the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.14Indeed, the body does not consist of one member but of many. 15If the foot would say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 16And if the ear would say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 17If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole body were hearing, where would the sense of smell be? 18But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. 19If all were a single member, where would the body be? 20As it is, there are many members, yet one body. 21The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” 22On the contrary, the members of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable,23and those members of the body that we think less honorable we clothe with greater honor, and our less respectable members are treated with greater respect; 24whereas our more respectable members do not need this. But God has so arranged the body, giving the greater honor to the inferior member, 25that there may be no dissension within the body, but the members may have the same care for one another. 26If one member suffers, all suffer together with it; if one member is honored, all rejoice together with it.
Step two: (Personal Observations)Here are a few questions to ponder. Maybe after reading the text a personal question comes to mind. Focus on one of the questions or think about one on your own.
What does it mean to be baptized into one body by drinking the same spirit?
What prevents us from being “one body” today?
What part of the body do you feel you represent?
What parts of Christ’s body do you sometimes take for granted?
Step three: (Pastor’s Reflection) After shoveling more than 2ft of snow off the driveway (twice because of all the drifting) my body is in a little bit of pain. I am sure many of us are in the same boat. Or maybe your waiting till the storm was over and now you are looking outside and thinking to yourself “this is going to hurt”. When the body is sore you are suddenly aware of every move, every muscle, every reach or pull takes on new meaning. The longer it’s been since your last workout, that more your body revolts! Even though I am struggling this morning to think about anything other than my physical body, there is more to the body then just the physical. After reading the text appointed for this morning, I hope you gained an insight about what I am talking about.
Just as we need to keep our physical bodies healthy and strong, we need to take care of our faith bodies as well. We do this by reading scripture, praying for one another, and being actively involved in our communities. We need to take time out of our overcrowded schedules and strengthen our faith bodies, doing things with repetition and reminding ourselves that this will get easier with time. We can also strengthen our faith bodies by being a part of the “The Body,” we call the Church. Each one of us is a unique part of the body and collectively we form a healthier and whole body that can engage the joys and challenges of life the world throws at us.
Take time today or tomorrow to strengthen your whole body. A little shoveling doesn’t hurt. In fact, I keep telling myself it’s wonderful exercise. As for our faith bodies, picking up scripture and praying for our neighbors will have the same effect. As we gather away from the physical building of St. John’s this week, remember that we are joined together as “The Body” of Christ.