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1 John 1:1-4, God's Tangible Word of Life

Sunday, June 24

Body, Mind, and Spirit

Narrative Lectionary Daily Devotions written by Kace Leetch from Clergy Stuff.

worship with body, mind, and spirit

Many early Christians had been told the good news of the risen Christ, but many had not seen or heard from the man, Jesus. Time and space distanced people from the authenticity of the events, and Jesus’ story started to become an ethereal one. 1 John was written to remind people that Christ was not just an ideal—Jesus was real, and we can experience him with every sense we possess.

Knowing Jesus is a full body experience. We can see Jesus in the faces of others. We can hear Jesus in the voices of others. Sometimes Jesus is easier to see and hear than other times. We seem to have an easier time finding Jesus in positive people and experiences than in negative ones. We see Jesus in our heroes, when we come together after natural disasters, and when we sit next to them in church. It is harder to see Jesus in the scam artist who calls our home at dinnertime trying to steal our hard-earned money. But do we think Jesus doesn’t (or can’t) live and work even in them? Perhaps if we look hard enough, we can see Jesus in the faces even of the people we want to reject.

We can also experience Jesus with our whole bodies. Some of the most difficult physical (and emotional) work I’ve done has been when I’m serving others. Building homes, packing food, raising kids—all these are demanding, but incredibly rewarding, full-body experiences.

Recently, I had an interesting conversation with a woman I greatly respect. She told me of the work she does serving on teams, committees, boards, and coalitions. She explained how they research social crises, create agendas and policies, and work behind the scenes to effect change.

I told her I was perplexed that anyone would actually enjoy going to meeting after meeting after meeting! I would rather spend hours cooking for large crowds, creating tasty masterpieces, and watching the faces of hungry people as they share what I’ve prepared. She told me she can’t imagine standing on her feet all day and having to engage face-to-face with people in need. We decided it’s a wonderful thing that God has created people like her who like to plan and think, and people like me who like to create and do. Together, people like us can engage our bodies, minds, and spirits to change the world.

Narrative Lectionary Text: 1 John 1:1-4

We declare to you what was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the word of life— this life was revealed, and we have seen it and testify to it, and declare to you the eternal life that was with the Father and was revealed to us— we declare to you what we have seen and heard so that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. We are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.