Reflections: August 21, 2020

Friday of the Tenth Week after Trinity

By David Magruder

But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. (1 Corinthians 12:18)

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. What a strange conversation Paul presents to us: body parts talking to each other!  The foot seems depressed because it has the boring work of supporting the body. It is not like the important hand with its opposable thumb!  The ear is jealous of the eye and in their envy and jealousy, the foot and the ear want to quit the whole body. But if they were to jump ship, there would be no body at all. God put each part in the body "as He chose. You are the body of Christ and individually members of it."

Paul is not talking about some imaginary world of talking body parts. He is speaking about you!  Earlier in 1 Corinthians 12, Paul wrote, "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 one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit."

As a baptized child of God, you are joined to Jesus and made part of one body—the holy Christian Church. This means that you are never alone in this life of faith. You are an important member of one body. You don't share the same gifts as other parts of the body—and that is ok. God provides the necessary parts to make the body whole and He connects them all to the head, Jesus.

The result of that connection to Christ creates an amazing thing—a body that lives in the forgiveness given by Jesus and shares such love with the whole body. You, who were baptized into one body, express that Baptism with Spirit-gifted acts of love. Instead of being jealous of other parts of the body of Christ, you are concerned for them (1 Corinthians 12:25) as Jesus is for you. You love, serve, and forgive as you are loved, served, and forgiven in Christ. That is how God chose to arrange it and to that we say, "Amen"!  In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.

O Lord, let this Your little flock, Your name alone confessing, continue in Your loving care, true unity possessing. Your sacraments, O Lord, and you saving Word to us, Lord, pure retain. Grant that they may remain our only strength and comfort. Amen. ("Lord Jesus Christ, the Church's Head" LSB 647, st.2)

-Rev. David Magruder is pastor of Peace With Christ Lutheran Church, Fort Collins, CO.

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