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Daily readings: June 26

1 Corinthians 12:18-21

Something to read

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'.
New Revised Standard Version

Something to think about

Christianity is often thought of as a religion that is suspicious or hostile to the flesh, to carnal lusts and passions. While it is true that from the time of Augustine of Hippo (354-430 AD) there has been a tendency in the churches, especially those in the West, to see the flesh as an enemy, Christianity is at its heart a bodily religion.

Jesus Christ is the Word 'made flesh' (John 1:14) and his ministry was incarnational - he ministered as an enfleshed human being. The hope of the Christian is that death is not the final word, but that we shall experience resurrection - which is a bodily event. 

Something to do

Many of us are uncomfortable with our own bodies. We wish they were perfect, beautiful or resembled the models seen in magazines or the actors in Hollywood films. Sometimes our bodies fail us - they become sick or disabled. Thus it is easy to agree that the flesh is a problem and only the spirit is worthy.

However, try to see the glory of God in your own body, one that is deemed perfect by the Creator, one that reflects the image of God.

Something to pray

Anima Christi (14th Century)

Soul of Christ, sanctify me
Body of Christ, save me
Blood of Christ, inebriate me
Water from the side of Christ, wash me
Passion of Christ, strengthen me
O good Jesus, hear me
Within Thy wounds hide me
Permit me not to be separated from thee
From the malignant enemy defend me
In the hour of my death call me
And bid me come to thee
That with thy Saints I may praise thee
Forever and ever. 

Today's contributor is the Rev James Matarazzo Jr, a United Church of Christ (USA) minister from Boston, Massachusetts. He moved to London in 2007. Jim is a founding member of INERELA+ (International Network of Religious Leaders Living with and Affected by HIV and AIDS), a Christian Aid partner. He is now working on a DPhil in Systematic Theology at Oxford University. 

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