Author: Dr. Yvonne Huggins-McLean
YOU ARE THE BODY 1 Corinthians 12:27 Now you are the body of CHRIST, and each one of you is a part of it. 1 Corinthians 12:22 And some of the parts that seem weakest and least important are really the most necessary. [New International translation] Discussion The 12th chapter of the first letter to the Corinthian church was authored by Paul, who describes himself as “called to be an apostle of JESUS CHRIST” and Sosthenes, who Paul describes as “our brother,” and who, in Acts 18:17, is described as “the chief ruler of the synagogue in Corinth. Throughout this letter, there is a frequent theme and appeal for unity. For example, in 1Corinthians 1:10, Paul discusses unity of mind. Here he begs his listeners to avoid arguments, divisions, and splits, or dissensions over whom they believe they are “mentally attached” to in leadership or inclined to follow. For example, some were claiming they are “followers of Paul,” some for “for Peter,” and some for “Apollos.” Paul discourages these kinds of mental “alliances,” which he describes as trying to “break CHRIST into many pieces.” Deemphasizing his own importance as well as the importance of each of these mere human leaders, Paul asks, “did I die for your sins?” If they want to align or boast of anyone, Paul suggests boasting about what CHRIST had done. 1Cor.1:31. Paul uses an analogy to appeal for civil unity. Using each person’s human body as an example, with its various parts (head, hands, feet, ears, eyes) Paul, tells the Corinthian believers that they are members of one body---“The body of CHRIST.” This idea lends itself to many comparisons. There is the comparison of each person being a unit (like the units of the body) with CHRIST as “the head.” There is the comparison of each person having various gifts and functions, but the parts must all come together for the good of the whole body, if the body is going to function properly. In other words, two feet can’t just walk off in different directions or decide each of the feet want to be the left one, causing the body to stumble and fall. Each part needs to do its proper part and be “appreciated.” “Each part should be cared for and honored because if one part suffers, all parts suffer with it. 1 Corinthians 12:26. Paul states that some of the weakest and seemly “least important” are “really the most necessary.” In fact, Paul states, “we are especially glad to have some parts that “seem rather odd” (Living Bible translation)”, “are our uncomely parts” [King James translation], or “parts of the body we think less honorable” [Revised Standard translation” and New International translation]!” Paul challenges all of us to “look around” and “see” who is being left out! Who in the body of CHRIST is being ignored, rejected, considered odd, or even less honorable. Now think back about the people CHRIST associated with. For example, people like Zacchaeus, a tax collector (who was viewed as “less honorable” and a “notorious sinner”) [Luke 19:3], a “despised” Samaritan woman (a member of a group that was rejected, ignored and considered odd because of their religious practices) [John 4:9]; Mary Magdalene, a woman JESUS “ healed of evil spirits and infirmities” [Luke 7:2Revised Standard]; ten lepers [Luke 17:11-19] and one of the lepers was a Samaritan; a man who was not in his right mind, who was also homeless and naked [Luke 8:27]; and others “left out.” As the body of CHRIST, we must “look around” at all the various “parts” “left out” and care for and minister to them too. ARM, WRIST, FIST AND FINGER EXERCISES So often when people exercise, they think of “big” muscle groups. Sometimes, the “little things,” like the lower arms, wrist, fist or fingers get overlooked. Here are some stretch exercises for these parts of the body:
Praying Position Stretch - While standing, place your palms together in a praying position. Have your elbows touch each other. Your hands should be in front of your face. Your arms should be touching each other from the tips of your fingers to your elbows.
With your palms pressed together, slowly spread your elbows apart. Do this while lowering your hands to waist height. Stop when your hands are in front of your belly button or you feel the stretch.
Hold the stretch for 10 to 30 seconds, then repeat.
Extended Arm and Finger Stretch - Extend your arm with your palm facing up toward the ceiling.
With your free hand, gently press your fingers down toward the floor.
Gently pull your fingers back toward your body.
Hold for 10 to 30 seconds.
Repeat both stretches with the other arm. Then repeat 2-3 times.
Clenched fist Stretch - While seated, place your open hands on your thighs with palms up.
Close your hands slowly into fists. Do not clench too tightly.
With your forearms touching your legs, raise your fists off of your legs and back toward your body, bending at the wrist.
Hold for 10 seconds.
Lower your fists and slowly open your fingers wide.
Repeat 10 times.
Desk Press- While seated, place your palms face up under a desk or table.
Press upwards against the bottom of the desk.
Hold for 5 to 10 seconds. This exercise builds strength in the muscles that run from your wrists to your inner elbows.
Tennis ball squeeze- Squeeze a tennis ball or stress ball firmly for 5 to 10 seconds.
See, HealthLine, https://www.healthline.com/health/chronic-pain/wrist-and-hand-stretches#TOC_TITLE_HDR_1. If any of these stretches cause pain, stop. If you have an injury, condition, or concern about doing any of these exercises, consult your own personal physician for exercises appropriate for you. YOU
1 Corinthians 12:27 says “you.” In other words, Paul and Sosthenes are being upfront and personal. It’s not the government, not your president, not your legislature, not your neighbor, not the wealthy, not the healthiest, not the fittest, nor the smartest, nor someone else. It’s you. Your walk, your eyes, your hands, your compassion, your feet, and your unity with other believers is how GOD will bless the body of CHRIST. At times world disharmony, the vastness of human need, the depth of world suffering and despair may at times seem daunting. But Paul reminds us: “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love HIM.” 1 Corinthians 2:9. Trust GOD. Have faith. Do your part and your best! Be the body and BE BLESSED.