Chip Stapleton Highland Presbyterian Church March 26th, 2020 Hunkered Down Devotions
1 Corinthians 12:12-26 The Voice (VOICE)
12 Just as a body is one whole made up of many different parts, and all the different parts comprise the one body, so it is with the Anointed One. 13 We were all ceremonially washed through baptism[a] together into one body by one Spirit. No matter our heritage—Jew or Greek, insider or outsider—no matter our status—oppressed or free—we were all given the one Spirit to drink. 14 Here’s what I mean: the body is not made of one large part but of many different parts. 15 Would it seem right for the foot to cry, “I am not a hand, so I couldn’t be part of this body”? Even if it did, it wouldn’t be any less joined to the body. 16 And what about an ear? If an ear started to whine, “I am not an eye; I shouldn’t be attached to this body,” in all its pouting, it is still part of the body. 17 Imagine the entire body as an eye. How would a giant eye be able to hear? And if the entire body were an ear, how would an ear be able to smell? 18 This is where God comes in. God has meticulously put this body together; He placed each part in the exact place to perform the exact function He wanted. 19 If all members were a single part, where would the body be? 20 So now, many members function within the one body. 21 The eye cannot wail at the hand, “I have no need for you,” nor could the head bellow at the feet, “I won’t go one more step with you.” 22 It’s actually the opposite. The members who seem to have the weaker functions are necessary to keep the body moving; 23 the body parts that seem less important we treat as some of the most valuable; and those unfit, untamed, unpresentable members we treat with an even greater modesty. 24 That’s something the more presentable members don’t need. But God designed the body in such a way that greater significance is given to the seemingly insignificant part. 25 That way there should be no division in the body; instead, all the parts mutually depend on and care for one another. 26 If one part is suffering, then all the members suffer alongside it. If one member is honored, then all the members celebrate alongside it.
This passage from 1st Corinthians is well known to many of us. It has been used by Christians throughout the centuries to remind us that, in and through Jesus Christ, we are all part of one family (God’s family), and we are all important and valuable members of that family.
Because of God’s love for us, our value, our worth and importance to our family is not determined by what we can do; by what we have, or where we come from.
These words, while they have always brought hope and comfort in times of trouble, have taken on special meaning during this time of social distancing and quarantines.
Our country, and the entire world, is in the midst of taking extreme and previously unthinkable measures to prevent the further spread of COVID-19. We have done this, while understanding that – for many people – COVID-19 will not be a serious risk to our health.
As the costs of these actions have added up, I have begun to hear people question, ‘is it worth it?’ As Christians, this is the time to live into the truth of these words from Paul: It’s actually the opposite. The members who seem to have the weaker functions are necessary to keep the body moving; the body parts that seem less important we treat as some of the most valuable……… all the parts mutually depend on and care for one another. If one part is suffering, then all the members suffer alongside it. If one member is honored, then all the members celebrate alongside it.
There can be no doubt that this is a hard time for all of us. It is true that the costs – economic and otherwise – of these actions are great. But as Christians, our call is to lead the way in putting others before ourselves and acting in accordance with our belief that we are all one body. As one body, we must take extra care in protecting our most vulnerable members. This is how we show and share God’s love for all.
Sharing God’s Love,
Prayer: Lord, we pray this day for your protection over all of us. Help us to remain strong and vigilant in all we are doing, so that we might be part of the care and security of those around us. Amen.