Over the next several weeks, we will be sharing devotions based on the United Methodist membership vows, where we pledge to support the church with our prayers, presence, gifts, service, and witness. This week’s focus is SERVICE, with a particular emphasis on families. We invite you to share these as a family and to read them together with children.
A side note: we are still in need of youth and adult volunteers for VBS! You can also still register your children or grandchildren for VBS – visit our VBS page.
19 Or don’t you know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you? Don’t you know that you have the Holy Spirit from God, and you don’t belong to yourselves? 20 You have been bought and paid for, so honor God with your body.
So, brothers and sisters, because of God’s mercies, I encourage you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice that is holy and pleasing to God. This is your appropriate priestly service.
A temple is defined as a place of worship or a holy place. It may sound strange to compare our bodies to a place, but for the people of ancient Israel, the “temple” was also a holy space where God was with them. Our bodies are unique temples that are pathways to God and each body is different. So if we think about our bodies as holy spaces where we find we are a part of God, then maybe we remember just how very special or sacred our bodies really are.
Even identical twins, who share most of the same DNA, are unique creations in God. I know this personally, since I am one! My twin and I look and sound very much alike. We can even fool our family when we want to. Yet our bodies and personalities are not the same and in many ways we are very different from each other. Also each of us has special talents and behaviors that make us especially inspired by God.
Pause and think about it. You are a unique, one-of-a-kind creation. Your body is different from every other body on the planet! Treating our bodies as God’s special place is an important service that we give to God and ourselves. In this way, we praise God just by becoming our best selves. Therefore, treat your body as something special and sacred! Even if you are stressed, make time for fun. Make enough time for good resting. Make time for exploring the world, listening to God’s Word, and learning something new each day. Think about how uniquely beautiful your body is. You are one of a kind! You honor God just by keeping your body as a holy, loving temple. Now that is worshipping God!
by Barbara Carlson
For Pondering & Prayer
Our bodies are holy and unique creations of God. But how often do we fully respect our bodies? What happens if we always ignore our own needs for the needs of others? Sure, we must help others, but to always help to the detriment of our own health does not honor God. Plus how many people don’t really like themselves or some particular body part? Do we make unhealthy choices for ourselves –like getting too little rest, eating poorly, or talking ourselves down? How often do you tell someone how you really feel or request a hug? Pause and take stock of your one-of-a-kind, godly temple today.
Prayer: Holy One, thank you for my body. Even when I am frustrated with my one-of-a-kind temple, help me to pause and be thankful to you. Help me to honor in every way the sacred nature of all that I am. Amen.