November 19, 2017
Sermon Message by Rev. Dr. Parrish Bridges
"What Does It Mean to be a Part of the Body of Christ?"
Call to Worship:
Leader: The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.
People: And also with you.
Leader: Strive after the better gifts. Christ will show you a still more excellent way.
People: We are the body of Christ, member for member, and will follow the more excellent way.
Psalm Reading: Psalm 19 (NIV) New International Version
For the director of music. A psalm of David.
1) The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
2) Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they reveal knowledge.
3) They have no speech, they use no words;
no sound is heard from them.
4) Yet their voice19:4 Septuagint, Jerome and Syriac; Hebrew measuring line goes out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world.
In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun.
5) It is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber,
like a champion rejoicing to run his course.
6) It rises at one end of the heavens
and makes its circuit to the other;
nothing is deprived of its warmth.
7) The law of the Lordis perfect,
refreshing the soul.
The statutes of the Lordare trustworthy,
making wise the simple.
8) The precepts of the Lordare right,
giving joy to the heart.
The commands of the Lordare radiant,
giving light to the eyes.
9) The fear of the Lordis pure,
The decrees of the Lordare firm,
and all of them are righteous.
10) They are more precious than gold,
than much pure gold;
they are sweeter than honey,
than honey from the honeycomb.
11) By them your servant is warned;
in keeping them there is great reward.
12) But who can discern their own errors?
Forgive my hidden faults.
13) Keep your servant also from willful sins;
may they not rule over me.
Then I will be blameless,
innocent of great transgression.
1) 4May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart
be pleasing in your sight,
Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.
New Testament Reading: 1 Corinthians 12:12-27 (NIV) New International Version
Unity and Diversity in the Body
12) Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. 13For we were all baptized by 13) one Spirit to drink. 14) Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.
15) Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. 16) And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. 17) If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? 18) But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. 19) If they were all one part, where would the body be? 20) As it is, there are many parts, but one body.
21) 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!” 22) On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23) 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, 24) while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, 25) so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. 26) If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.
27) Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.
Prayer of Confession
Dear God, sometimes we are too good at talking. We talk about our desire for justice, but our actions bring poverty and oppression to those we claim to serve. We talk about our deep love for You, but we come up short when it’s time to show love for those who make us uncomfortable. We talk about our commitment to serve others, but our busy lives make it hard to find the time to act as Your disciples. God, please forgive us and help us turn our words into actions, that our very lives may become the message of love You have called us to proclaim. Amen.