Saturday, January 16, 2016

Third Sunday after the Epiphany (C), January 24, 2016 - 1 Corinthians 12:12-31a

Can "Religion" = Re-ligament Again?

A Jewish friend has written me
About the news from Canterb'ry,*
He thinks that Justin Welby seems
Reactionary, since the seams
Of Anglicans now start to fray
From sanctions over matters gay.

I tell him Welby's job is tough,
Consid'ring some have had enough,
Preferring the Americans
Would go their separate way, again, 
And leave a great and worldwide fold,
A purer church to then behold.

It's painful that some matters rank
So high to some, they'd draw a blank,
Forgetful of this chapter, where,
Paul says we must with others bear
When they are diff'rent! - since in Christ,
All parts that are in him, suffice.

My friend, no synagogue attends,
And frequently with me contends
Religion is no tie that binds,
But rather splits both hearts and minds;
Sometimes I fear that he is right,
And wish this text be heeded, quite.

Scott L. Barton


For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and we were all made to drink of one Spirit. Indeed, the body does not consist of one member but of many. If the foot would say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear would say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole body were hearing, where would the sense of smell be? But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be? As it is, there are many members, yet one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” On the contrary, the members of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and those members of the body that we think less honorable we clothe with greater honor, and our less respectable members are treated with greater respect; whereas our more respectable members do not need this. But God has so arranged the body, giving the greater honor to the inferior member, that there may be no dissension within the body, but the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together with it; if one member is honored, all rejoice together with it.

Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers; then deeds of power, then gifts of healing, forms of assistance, forms of leadership, various kinds of tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret? But strive for the greater gifts. And I will show you a still more excellent way.

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