Scripture Focus: 1 Corinthians 6.12-20
12 “I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but I will not be mastered by anything. 13 You say, “Food for the stomach and the stomach for food, and God will destroy them both.” The body, however, is not meant for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. 14 By his power God raised the Lord from the dead, and he will raise us also. 15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself? Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute? Never! 16 Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, “The two will become one flesh.” 17 But whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit.

18 Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body. 19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.

Reflection: Embodied
By John Tillman

Why do we have bodies?

Some would rather we didn’t. Some say, “My body doesn’t matter. I’m a ghost pilot in a meat robot.” In this vision, the body is a throwaway, inconsequential shell. Some even hope to replace it, change it, or upgrade it.

Even now the bodies of over 200 “patients” are in cryonic freezers. Some have not even preserved their whole body—only the head and brain. They, or their families, have faith future scientists will resurrect them, either healing their diseases or transferring their brains to new bodies. The patients include a two-year-old child, one of the founders of Bitcoin, and baseball Hall of Famer, Ted Williams. What a strange trio they would be…

Even if these hopes are realized in the future, Christianity has a greater hope, a greater view of the body, and a greater future. Our bodies are not meat robots for our souls. We are integrated beings. It is not just our soul that will be with the Lord. Our bodies, even after returning to dust, will be resurrected.

Paul tells the Corinthians that their bodies are “for the Lord.” He also says the Lord is “for our bodies.” Our bodies are essential to who we are and to our experience of and with God, both now and in eternity. Our bodies aren’t just physical matter. They matter cosmically, spiritually, for eternity.

It is foolish to dismiss the body. It is also foolish to enthrone our bodies above all. Like the Corinthians, some think whatever our body wants, it deserves. We don’t deserve or need everything we hunger for. Our body’s desires are not “rights.” Indiscriminately feeding fleshly hungers is always unhealthy and often evil.

Our bodies are not our own. In Christ, we are made one body with him. No Christian can say “What I do with my body only affects me,” because it affects Christ and everyone connected to him. No one can say, “My body is dishonorable, broken, and worthless,” because Christ valued our embodied self, dying for our souls and being resurrected for our bodies.

Our bodies are not beneath us like robot shells. Our bodies are not over us like rulers. Our bodies are not our own to abuse, harm, or dishonor. With our bodies, we present the embodiment of Christ to the world—to honor him through service and love to others.

Divine Hours Prayer: The Call to Prayer
Open my lips, O Lord, and my mouth shall proclaim your praise. — Psalm 51.16

– From The Divine Hours: Prayers for Springtime by Phyllis Tickle.

Today’s Readings
Numbers 32 (Listen 5:22)
1 Corinthians 5 (Listen 3:03)

Read more about Inner Light of the Heart
Our bodies matter. Our spirit also matters. We are integrated beings—not solely spirit and not solely flesh.

Read more about Maintaining Sacred Space
Our bodies are our “tents” into which we invite the Holy Spirit of God, promised to us by Jesus.

Contributors’ Choice :: Jon Polk

Scripture Focus: 1 Corinthians 6.14
By his power, God raised the Lord from the dead, and he will raise us also.

1 Corinthians 15.56-57
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

From John Tillman: This season of Readers’ Choice has been a joy. I’m pleased to wind it down with three selections from contributing writer, Jon Polk. We will be hearing from Jon in devotions this September as well. Thanks to all for sharing a few steps of your faith journeys with us.

Reflection: Contributors’ Choice :: Jon Polk
Selected by contributing writer, Jon Polk, from Hong Kong

Theology is Like a Watch
Originally posted, January 30th, 2019

Jon: It is easy for us to forget that Jesus likely would not have been considered a “good church member” because he was always ruffling the feathers of the church leadership of his day! When he broke or bent Jewish laws, he did so both to demonstrate that he had come to fulfill the law and that he was Lord above the law. Baxter’s analogy of theology as a watch with intricate pieces reminds us that we should read all of scripture through the “Jesus lens.” 

“‘Theology is a curious, well-composed frame. Just as it is not enough that you have all the parts of your watch or clock, but you must see that every part is in its proper place, or else it will not go, or answer its end; so it is not enough that you know the various parts of theology or law, unless you know them in their true order and priority.’

When Jesus is asked what the two greatest commandments are, his answer tells us how to set our watch by the two guideposts on which hang the entire law—Love God and love others.”

Our Opportunistic Opponent
Originally posted, February 18th, 2019

Jon: This post is an excellent reminder that Satan is neither as powerful as we often like to make him out to be, nor is he uninvolved in the world. Wouldn’t it be much easier to resist temptation if the devil always showed up in a red suit with horns and a pitchfork? 

“Temptations are a time for us to come to terms with our limitations and recognize our sinfulness. In times of tempting, when we feel our limitations, there is comfort knowing that our tempter is also limited. His opportunity to torment us will come to an end. By Christ’s mercy we can resist Satan and he will flee. But just as when Satan left Jesus in the wilderness, he is only waiting for an opportune time to return.”

He Stoops to Raise
Originally posted, June 18th, 2019

Jon: While I acknowledge that the Resurrection is the miracle which provides our hope for salvation, I’ve always felt that the deep miracle of the Incarnation is more profound. God himself, acquiesces to human limitations, being born as a helpless human baby, totally dependent on human parents. God willingly sets aside his divine nature in order to walk among us so that we might know him. What a sacrifice! May it inspire us to do the same, not looking to our own interests but to the interests of others.

“He strips himself.
He lays aside
His Heaven
His throne
His clothes
His life

He lowers himself
Steps down, descends
He stoops
He kneels
Head bowed
He bends”

Divine Hours Prayer:  A Reading
Jesus taught us, saying: “Disciple is not superior to teacher, nor slave to master. It is enough for the disciple to grow to be like his teacher, and slave like master…” — Matthew 10.24-25

– From The Divine Hours: Prayers for Summertime by Phyllis Tickle.

Today’s Readings
1 Samuel 23 (Listen – 4:18) 
1 Corinthians 4 (Listen – 3:15)

This Weekend’s Readings
1 Samuel 24 (Listen – 3:36), 1 Corinthians 5 (Listen – 1:58)
1 Samuel 25 (Listen – 7:12), 1 Corinthians 6 (Listen – 3:03)
1 Samuel 26 (Listen – 4:30), 1 Corinthians 7 (Listen – 6:09)

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Read more about Too Much to Hold
Jesus is more than death can hold. It tried. Death can hold worlds, countries, massive unnumbered masses. But Christ could not be contained or held back.

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