August 27, 2021
1 Corinthians 12:21-27
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!” On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 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, while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.
Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.
Last year I developed an infected left thumb, which I battled for several weeks. Since I’m right-handed, you’d think it wouldn’t be that much of a handicap, but man, that a frustrating time! I discovered so many things that depend upon the good health of my left thumb: actions, movements, tasks, even just basic positions where I put my left arm when I sleep. Everything seemed to flare into pain, to the point where I literally just stopped moving my entire left arm altogether, for big chunks of the day; all because of that stupid little thumb.
When we think about our important body parts, we don’t usually ascribe much “honor” to a left thumb. But God would strongly disagree—He calls the weaker parts of our body “indispensable”! That’s high praise. But it’s an idea we consistently struggle with. How many of us are slow to truly care about the weak, the lowly, those among us who don’t seem to merit as much attention as others?
A friend once told me about his college fellowship group and a woman who started attending. She was partially mentally handicapped, loud and unpredictable. She made some of the students uncomfortable. My friend approached the group leader in concern: “She’s going to start coming every week now! What are we going to do?”
And the leader gave a wonderful reply: “Are you kidding? We’re going to love her! She’s the most important person here.” Jesus had a lot to say about “the least of these” and their high place in God’s world, but that’s never been something we quickly accept or get used to.
Let’s ask God to show us today, who are the weaker, less honored “body parts” in our lives? In what ways do we (intentionally or not) regard them like we might disregard a little left thumb? And what steps might we take to honor and respect their place in the body of Christ as God would intend?