WE ARE CREATED in God’s image. Just as the Jews invest a great deal of time, thought, and resources into building the Temple, God invests a great deal—God’s own image—into the creation of our physical bodies, which serve as the vessels for our spirits. Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, “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? You have been bought and paid for, so honor God with your body” (CEB). Seeing our bodies as holy may not come easily to us. Even in Jesus’ time, there are many rules—particularly for women—that can make it sound as if physical bodies are dirty or defiled. In our time, cultural messages about weight and ability and sexuality and color make it even more difficult to love our bodies. But when we question the holiness of our physical bodies, we need only remember that God becomes human in the form of Jesus and then declares Jesus to be God’s Beloved. Part of being beloved is recognizing the sacred value of our bodies and honoring them as such.
—Kristen E. Vincent, We Are Beloved: A Lenten Journey with Protestant Prayer Beads (Upper Room Books, 2019)
“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you were bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body.”
—1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (NRSV)
Prayer for the Week
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(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
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