Lent Devotional March 12, 2020
1 Corinthians 6:12-20
12 “All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are beneficial. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be dominated by anything. 13 “Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food,” and God will destroy both one and the other. The body is meant not for fornication but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. 14 And God raised the Lord and will also raise us by his power. 15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Should I therefore take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Never! 16 Do you not know that whoever is united to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For it is said, “The two shall be one flesh.” 17 But anyone united to the Lord becomes one spirit with him. 18 Shun fornication! Every sin that a person commits is outside the body; but the fornicator sins against the body itself. 19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God, and that you are not your own? 20 For you were bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body.
The Rev. Dr. W. Fred Graham ’55, Academia (2006)
As our brother Paul addresses divisive issues in the young church at Corinth, he is forced to assert over and over again the young Christians’ freedom (“by grace [which is a gift] are you saved”) while living in wholesome community in a pagan world. This situation means that all manner of issues come up: food and drink, hairstyles, prostitution, lawsuits, and the list goes on. So to believers trying to find their way in such a society, Paul returns again and again to the slogan-like admonition, “all things are lawful, but not all are beneficial.”
The human body is good, not evil, as some ascetics would assert. After all, our Lord rose in body from the grave. Our Lord owns my body and your body. His Spirit is within. So during Lent, perhaps we should examine how we use the body God has gifted to each one of us. Do we work too much? Eat too much? Loaf around too much? Join me in asking yourself, What balance can I find today as I work and live in loving community with other followers of the Risen One?
Dear Lord, take my whole self this day, and inspire me to admire what you are about within my heart and by my hands. Amen.
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