8/9/23 Devotional from Ed
August 9, 2023
Text: 1 Corinthians 12:12-31 (Common English Bible translation)
12 Christ is just like the human body—a body is a unit and has many parts; and all the parts of the body are one body, even though there are many. 13 We were all baptized by one Spirit into one body, whether Jew or Greek, or slave or free, and we all were given one Spirit to drink. 14 Certainly the body isn’t one part but many. 15 If the foot says, “I’m not part of the body because I’m not a hand,” does that mean it’s not part of the body? 16 If the ear says, “I’m not part of the body because I’m not an eye,” does that mean it’s not part of the body? 17 If the whole body were an eye, what would happen to the hearing? And if the whole body were an ear, what would happen to the sense of smell? 18 But as it is, God has placed each one of the parts in the body just like he wanted. 19 If all were one and the same body part, what would happen to the body? 20 But as it is, there are many parts but one body. 21 So the eye can’t say to the hand, “I don’t need you,” or in turn, the head can’t say to the feet, “I don’t need you.” 22 Instead, the parts of the body that people think are the weakest are the most necessary. 23 The parts of the body that we think are less honorable are the ones we honor the most. The private parts of our body that aren’t presentable are the ones that are given the most dignity. 24 The parts of our body that are presentable don’t need this. But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the part with less honor 25 so that there won’t be division in the body and so the parts might have mutual concern for each other. 26 If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it; if one part gets the glory, all the parts celebrate with it. 27 You are the body of Christ and parts of each other. 28 In the church, God has appointed first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, the ability to help others, leadership skills, different kinds of tongues. 29 All aren’t apostles, are they? All aren’t prophets, are they? All aren’t teachers, are they? All don’t perform miracles, do they? 30 All don’t have gifts of healing, do they? All don’t speak in different tongues, do they? All don’t interpret, do they? 31 Use your ambition to try to get the greater gifts. And I’m going to show you an even better way.
In Sunday’s elementary faith formation class, we signed cards for a few of our members who have experienced some challenges, and then we talked about these words above from the Apostle Paul in reference to Katie Pittman’s sermon.
Some members have been in the hospital, some have lost pets, and some are spending the next few weeks getting physically stronger in an assisted living facility. It hasn’t been the easiest month for many in our church family. Katie’s sermon reminded our church family that each of us experiences hard times, and the children remembered her sadness in losing a college friend. They also remembered that Katie and her friend liked to get smoothies!
However, as most who have experienced a tremendous loss know, the comfort of supportive friends and family is invaluable. There is no replacement for empathy. Many have been gifted with being able to say the right thing to say at the right time, but all of us have been gifted with the ability to be a presence.
We then talked about how God has given each child (and anyone reading this) gifts that are uniquely ours, and we’ve also been given gifts that can collectively strengthen the Body of Christ. Paul says similar words above, writing, “If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it; if one part gets the glory, all the parts celebrate with it.”
We are those parts.
I was reminded of our Sunday discussion and these words from Paul during a Zoom call yesterday. Someone brought up how church goes against many things our society glorifies – individualism, “self-made,” and “pull yourself up by the bootstraps.” Instead, God’s church is relying on its members to serve together, learn together, worship together, and have fellowship with one another. When we do these things together, we are the Body of Christ as Paul intended.
The education ministry recently released its fall faith formation offerings. Please take a look and see how you can grow in your faith together with other FLPC family members. Also note that David Hunter will be leading a class called “Where Do I Fit in the Body of Christ,” a class geared to help you recognize your God-given gifts to better serve God and others.
JOIN US. God’s church is stronger when we are together.
Prayer: Holy God, help us to be the hands, feet, and voice of Christ in a hurting world. Amen.