With Alex Walton & Aaron Bjorklund
In addition to our daily devotional readings we also produce a weekly podcast in which we discuss the previous Sunday’s sermon topic. Over the next few weeks we will be publishing our podcast episode on Friday’s here in the Daily. We hope it blesses you. You can find the episode either on Youtube OR on your favorite podcast platform
Introduction: For hundreds of years many Christian traditions have read passages of scripture using a tool called a lectionary. This Advent season our devotional team decided to resource you with selections from the Revised Common Lectionary. You will encounter texts from the Psalms, the Prophets, and the New Testament as well as formal prayers. Each text has been selected to build anticipation for the coming of Christ – the Light of the World – amid the dark, cold days of winter. Reflect on the first coming of Christ while yearning for his second coming.
1:1 Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God,
1:2 which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy scriptures,
1:3 the gospel concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh
1:4 and was declared to be Son of God with power according to the spirit of holiness
by resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord,
1:5 through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith
among all the Gentiles for the sake of his name,
1:6 including yourselves who are called to belong to Jesus Christ,
1:7 To all God’s beloved in Rome, who are called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father
and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Shepherd of Israel,
may Jesus, Emmanuel and son of Mary,
be more than just a dream in our hearts.
With the apostles, prophets, and saints,
save us, restore us,
and lead us in the way of grace and peace,
that we may bear your promise into the world. Amen.
“I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but I will not be mastered by anything. You say, “Food for the stomach and the stomach for food, and God will destroy them both.” The body, however, is not meant for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. By his power God raised the Lord from the dead, and he will raise us also. Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself? Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute? Never! Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, “The two will become one flesh.” But whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit. Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body. Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies. 1 Corinthians 6:12-20
The role of the body is inextricably connected to faith for followers of Jesus. We believe that God values the physical world enough to enter into it. One might even say that Christianity is the most earthy of the world religions. We also believe that eternity will be composed of some physical new heavens and new earth. Unfortunately, this truth seems difficult to believe. Dualistic heresies like Marcionism and Gnosticism have plagued church history, and we are not exempt today. We tend to think about our spiritual lives connecting to God while ignoring our body’s role in faith in the process.
The importance of the body is precisely where Paul turns to advocate for his sexual ethic. Our bodies matter because they are a temple. They are the domain in which the spiritual world can manifest into the physical world. Dallas Willard described our bodies as our “power packs”. Our bodies were meant to be tools through which God’s kingdom came into the world. Just like a temple was meant to be a place where God’s creation could encounter him. Our bodies are now in that place. We are the place where people meet God.
Have you ever thought of your body that way? How might this truth make you think differently about your sexuality? Remember, we are not our sexual desires, we are not our sexual orientation, but we are temples of the living God.