Lent 3, Monday, Year B

Inspired by 1 Corinthians 3:10-23 

“Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.” 1 Corinthians 3:16-17 (NRSV) 

God created us to live in community with each other, all of us members of the whole body of Christ, but our value is not limited to what we contribute to the whole. Each of us was lovingly and carefully crafted by the Lord of all, and called holy by the Holy One himself.

Some branches of Christianity devalue the worth of some members—often women—calling upon them to sacrifice themselves and their own well-being in the name of Christian duty or charity. Yet the Spirit of God dwells even in those members who are considered least worthy, and therefore their bodies, minds, and souls must be treated with the respect due to the dwelling place of God. We are called to service to the Lord of course, but we are to serve by valuing what God has given us and using the gifts he has graced us with to build up the whole body of Christ. Destroying ourselves to meet another person’s definition of Christian duty is not a part of that.

The Lord may call upon us to make sacrifices, but we can trust that God wastes no one, and God throws no one away. Those whom he does call to great sacrifice he will first grace with the gifts needed to be able to make that sacrifice willingly and joyfully, just as he graces us with the gifts to do our part willingly and joyfully, and always blessing us and honoring us as his holy temples.

Let us pray. Holy God, your Spirit dwells within each of us. Help us to honor your Spirit, that we may treat all your people with the love and the respect we each deserve. Through Christ our Lord, Amen.