Great Plains Daily Devotional for 8/19/2022

Today please be in prayer for

Lincoln Christ UMC
Blue River District
Lincoln First UMC
Blue River District
Lincoln First UMC
Blue River District
Lincoln Havelock UMC
Blue River District

Today's Lectionary Text

1 Corinthians 12:12-26 

For 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. For 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.

Indeed, the body does not consist of one member but of many. If 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. And 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. If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole body were hearing, where would the sense of smell be? But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be? As it is, there are many members yet one body. The 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.” On the contrary, the members of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and 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, whereas our more respectable members do not need this. But God has so arranged the body, giving the greater honor to the inferior member, that there may be no dissension within the body, but the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together with it; if one member is honored, all rejoice together with it.

Today's Devotional

I recently finished the book, “The Body is Not an Apology” by Sonya Renee Taylor. Sonya discusses radical self-love, which emphasizes the need to love our physical bodies. I was confronted with ways I myself have not always loved my body, wanting to hide away or convincing myself I’m not smart enough, pretty enough, or even worthy. Recognizing that I have not always loved myself is painful to admit, but Sonya points to loving ourselves so fully, that in turn we love others. The point being, each of us has a body, we don’t get to this earth without some physical vessel of skin and bones. Now each one of our bodies is different from the color of our hair to our skin color to the abilities each of our arms and legs can perform, but each one of us has a body which we are to love and care for.  

I think God knows the importance of our important physical bodies because God entered the world through Jesus as a child. Jesus grew into his own body and I’m sure there were those awkward stages of puberty or growth spurts where Jesus, like all of us, grow into our bodies. The fact that our God entered into the world as human, shows how God wanted to related to us all and show the message of radical love with world. While Sonya’s book starts with self-love it also turns to the outward expression of loving our neighbors whose bodies might look different than our own. As Christians we are each part of the body of Christ, and each of us serves in many different ways. None of us in the church are exactly the same, but our call is to live out the incarnation of Christ, to ensure everybody and everyone knows the truth of joy of God’s grace and love. We will love our bodies so we can love all the bodies around us. 

--Maddi Baugous 
Omaha First UMC 

Prayer for Reflection

Compassionate God, you formed our bodies and called them beautiful, you dwelled among us in a body, and yet we do not always appreciate the gift of our bodies. Help us to love our bodies so we can love all the other parts of your body: our neighbors and siblings. Together we pray. Amen.  

 

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