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The Body of Christ

3rd Sunday after the Epiphany

Adapted from “Scolding the Snakes”

Artwork by Elsa Ingulsrud
Scripture Reference: 1 Cor. 12:12-27 

What do you think is the most important part of your body? (Let children share ideas; challenge their choices.) If you had strong muscles but no nerves to send signals to your brain, would you be able to do anything with those muscles? No! If you had good eyes and could see the tiniest thing from far away, but your eyelids wouldn’t stay open, would you be able to see anything? No! If you had a good brain, but your hands or eyes didn’t do what the brain told them to do, would your brain do you any good? No! Every part of the body is important. And it is important for all the parts of the body to work together in order to do the things you need to do.

The people in this church are the body of Christ. (Point around—at children, at adults: “She is part of Christ’s body; you are part of Christ’s body; they are part of Christ’s body.”) All of us do the work of Jesus here on Earth. And just as the human body has many important parts that need to work together, the church has many members who are good at doing different things. Would it make sense if all of us were Sunday school teachers? Who would go to class and learn? What if all of us were ushers? We’d all be in the aisles and no one would be sitting in the seats.

Do you think the children in this congregation are a very important part of the body of Christ? (Discuss.) You are very important. We need you in our church. Your part in the body of Christ is very important. What are some important things you do for Jesus? (Let children discuss. If necessary, supply examples: show kindness, smile, and help one another, tell others about Jesus, sing hymns, obey parents and teachers, etc.)

Sometimes we might be tempted to think that some people or some jobs in the church are more important than others. But this is not at all what the Bible teaches! First Corinthians 12 talks about how all the members in Christ’s body are important. It says, “In fact, some of the parts that seem weakest and least important are really the most necessary” (v. 22).

The way that one person feels can affect the whole body of Christ. If you break your pinky toe, you may not be able to walk at all for awhile. A toe is such a small thing, but if it is hurt, it affects your whole body. If one of the members of our church is sad or hurting, it matters to all of us. That’s why we pray for one another and meet together and encourage one another. That’s why we say good things to one another and tell others how helpful they are, how much they mean to us. Before you go home today, make sure that you talk to another part of this body of Christ and see how he or she is feeling.

Prayer:  We are all your children, Jesus—and each of us has important work to do for you. Help us remember that and help us love one other and work with one another. Amen

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