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“Honor God with your body”

May 27, 2022

Daily Scripture

1 Corinthians 6:12-20

12 I have the freedom to do anything, but not everything is helpful. I have the freedom to do anything, but I won’t be controlled by anything. 13 Food is for the stomach and the stomach is for food, and yet God will do away with both. The body isn’t for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord is for the body. 14 God has raised the Lord and will raise us through his power. 15 Don’t you know that your bodies are parts of Christ? So then, should I take parts of Christ and make them a part of someone who is sleeping around [Or a prostitute; commonly, women who sell their bodies to multiple sex partners but includes those who are sexually immoral]? No way! 16 Don’t you know that anyone who is joined to someone who is sleeping around is one body with that person? The scripture says, The two will become one flesh [Genesis 2:24]. 17 The one who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with him. 18 Avoid sexual immorality! Every sin that a person can do is committed outside the body, except those who engage in sexual immorality commit sin against their own bodies. 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.

Daily Reflection & Prayer

As we’ve seen this week, Corinth (and most parts of Greek and Roman society) virtually took sexual immorality for granted. Many Greek and Roman thinkers said because humans no longer use their bodies after death, what they do with them in life doesn’t matter. Paul totally rejected that idea. In Eugene Peterson’s superb paraphrase of 1 Corinthians 6:19-20: “The physical part of you is not some piece of property belonging to the spiritual part of you. God owns the whole works.” *

• “Don’t you know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you…and you don’t belong to yourselves?” Paul asked (verse 19). In what ways can knowing that God desires to dwell in you and guide you all the time help you think more clearly about your body, and make better choices about what you do with it?

• Scholars debate whether “I have the freedom to do anything” was Paul stating his own view of a Christian’s freedom before God, or quoting the Corinthians’ opinion. In either case, Paul did not directly dispute it. Instead, he said, in effect, “Some things [like the sexual promiscuity common in Corinth] are not smart, and will hurt and control you.” In what ways have you seen sexual immorality have hurtful results in your own life, your family of origin or friends?


King Jesus, prophets often used a faithful marriage as an image of the relationship you want with me, and all your people. Help me carry that principle into all my relationships with other people. Amen.

GPS Insights

Picture of  Darren Lippe

Darren Lippe

Darren Lippe & his wife, Doris, first met in a Resurrection Single Adult Sunday School class in 1997 & were married in what is now the Student Center. They are empty nesters with 2 college-aged sons, Matthew & Jacob. Darren serves as a Couples Small Group co-leader & Men's Group Leader, while volunteering in a variety of other capacities at Resurrection.

As we prepare to commemorate Memorial Day this weekend, perhaps we might think beyond barbeques & summer planning, & consider the role cemeteries or memorial gardens can play in our faithwalk.

Aside: I once attended a Memorial Day cookout at the top of the WWI Memorial. The steaks have never been higher.

There tend to be 2 very distinct impressions of graveyards: A serene/solemn place of eternal rest or a spooky/scary site, thanks to Sleepy Hollow’s Headless Horseman, countless Scooby-Doo episodes, & legends like “Never whistle in a graveyard or you’ll summon the Devil.”

Aside: Sometimes you’ll see a grave of a husband & wife that is heartwarming. On the other hand, sometimes you’ll see a tandem gravesite like this: “Let’s get a selifie with that grizzly bear.” paired with “I’m with Stupid” (Arrow Pointing to the Left).

Interestingly, for centuries cemeteries were often set beside a church & considered as consecrated grounds. As early as 593 A.D., graveyards were blessed & viewed to be just as holy/sacred as the worship space itself.

Graves are traditionally arranged in cemeteries facing toward the east – ready to start a new day, a new life, &, more significantly, anticipating the 2nd Coming of Christ. Thus, when the deceased’s eyes re-open the 1st thing they’ll see is the face of their Lord & Savior. (Note: The graves at The Normandy American Cemetery in France are aligned westward, so the deceased soldiers are facing their home in America.)

Old headstones were often adorned with a wide variety of Religious symbols:

  • Dove = Holy Spirit
  • Trumpet = Victory
  • Lily = Resurrection
  • Tree = Tree of Life
  • Keys = Spiritual Knowledge
  • Lion = God’s Power Guarding the Tomb
  • Book = Book of Life

Visiting cemeteries as an act of remembrance used to be an annual event. Memorial Day was originally designated Decoration Day for military soldiers, but its purpose evolved to marking a day when people would visit cemeteries to commemorate all those who had gone before. (An old friend remembered as a kid visiting the family gravesite & having a picnic at a nearby park every Memorial Day. A military veteran friend leaves his home at 6:00 a.m. every Memorial Day & makes a 13-hour circuit visiting the 3 graves of his fallen comrades.)

There are various traditions when we visit gravesites. Our Jewish friends leave a stone on the headstone, signifying that someone visited & the deceased is missed. Many will leave flowers, which is an ancient tradition started by the Greeks to mark new life. Our military friends will leave coins on the gravestone:

  • Penny = A Visitor
  • Nickel = Trained Together
  • Dime = Served Together
  • Quarter = You were there when they passed away

So what might Memorial Day mean for us in 2022?

Other than the occasional tractor or woodworking tool, vocations never appear on tombstones. I’m not sure why this is, but it sure seems like an important life-lesson.

Perhaps we should take a few moments to offer thanks for those who sacrificed their lives on our behalf so that we may continue to enjoy the blessings of our freedoms. As John 15:13 powerfully reminds us, “There is no greater love than one who lays down his/her life for others.” We can complain an awful lot about our country, but it remains the greatest experiment in self-government the world has ever known.

If we can’t visit the memorials of our ancestors &/or loved ones this weekend, maybe we could set aside some time to honor them by looking over old photos or sharing stories or offering a prayerful remembrance as they now enjoy communing with the saints.

Finally, we Christians are blessed. For most of human history every culture has been frightened of death & has wrestled with the bleak implications of its final consequences. But thanks to Jesus’ death & resurrection, we have an almost miraculous view of death that borders on the unbelievable. As we ponder our own mortality, maybe we should make sure that our faithwalk is part of our summer plans.

PS: Fun trivia to share around the grill this weekend: Did you know that back in the 1940’s a legendary pitmaster named Cole pushed through a city ordinance in Overland Park that required the serving of a side-dish with every order of barbeque? The resulting regulation was named in his honor, hence Cole’s law.

© 2024 Resurrection: A United Methodist Church. All Rights Reserved.
Scripture quotations are taken from The Common English Bible ©2011. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

* Peterson, Eugene H. The Message Numbered Edition Hardback. Navpress. Kindle Edition.