2021.01.17 Daily Devotional
The Upper Room devotional reflection for Sunday, January 17, 2021 comes to us from Leland P. Gamson of Arizona.
1 Corinthians 12:8-27 8 To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10 to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines. 12 Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. 14 Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many. 15 Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? 18 But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. 19 If they were all one part, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, but one body. 21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” 22 On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, 24 while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, 25 so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. 26 If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. 27 Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.
“On the Team”
As a young boy, I fantasized that my first day on the baseball team was the beginning of a major-league career. However, my father’s war injury had prevented him from teaching me how to play baseball so my inability to catch, throw, or hit relegated me to being a benchwarmer. What hurt the most were the coaches ignoring me in order to focus on the most promising team members. The next year we moved to a town with a YMCA. In their baseball program, everyone got to play, regardless of talent or experience. Friendly coaches worked with me to improve my basic baseball skills. They emphasized self-improvement, goal setting, and teamwork. The Christlike attitude I witnessed at the YMCA led me to a deeper life of faith.
The church is the body of Christ, and Jesus wants everyone to play on his team. He does not want anyone to be ignored or to be a benchwarmer. In the body of Christ, everyone can find opportunities to grow spiritually through worship, study, and service.
— Leland P. Gamson
Prayer Focus: Young People who feel Overlooked
Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for making us a part of your church. May we help to lead others to a life of faithful service. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Thought for the Day: I will encourage someone to become an active part of the body of Christ.
When I was in elementary school, I was the kid who was chosen “last” to play on any team, frankly with some good reason. Coordination and athletics were far from being strengths of mine.
But by the time I got to high school, I became active in a church, and learned a lot about this other kind of “team” – one in which everyone’s talents and skills are honored and used to work toward a common goal, whether that was a choir performance, a mission trip, a bake sale, a retreat, or even a “beach” party (I grew up in Southern California, so we could have beach parties almost any time of year).
God brings us together in ways that empower the Beloved Community of Christ, and each of us has a vital role in making that servant ministry happen in our church and in the world that surrounds it. If we don’t share our skills and talents, that ministry will simply not be as effective as it might have been.
What skills and talents can you bring?