READINGOld Testament: Exodus 1:6-22
Psalms: Psalms 69, 73
New Testament: 1 Corinthians 12:12-26
Gospel: Mark 8:27-9:1
Evening Psalms: 73
DEVOTIONAL“Just as the body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ…But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other…” (I Cor. 12:12-26)
After college I worked as a nurse at a hospital in the Congo. One day, I was walking around the wards with an African staff member. We stopped at one man’s bedside. The staff member looked knowingly at me, clinician to clinician, to disclose the cause of the man’s illness. “Someone put a curse on him,” he said.
In order to correct this misunderstanding about disease transmission, someone would have to painstakingly start at the beginning. There would be a lot of facts to impart about microbes and the way disease spreads.
When I read this passage, I get the impression that Paul is trying very hard to start at the beginning - to deconstruct everything we assume about what makes a person important. Just like every part of the human body is important, Paul says, every part of Christ’s body, the Church, is important. He gives examples using the human body to get us to understand - the foot does not want to be a hand! Just think if our ear wanted to be an eye! Even parts that seem weak are crucial!
The word in Paul’s letter that jumps out at me is BELONG. Probably most of us can think of times when we have felt excluded, surplus; the person waiting at the curb while everyone else drives away. The opposite of that is to feel we belong, and that is a wonderful feeling.
May I, in my actions, reach out to show everyone that they are dear, they BELONG, and we couldn’t do without them. Amen.