AM Psalm 69:1-23(24-30)31-38; PM Psalm 73
Exodus 1:6-22; 1 Corinthians 12:12-26; Mark 8:27-9:1
For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.
Indeed, the body does not consist of one member but of many.
– 1 Corinthians 12:12-14
I am in the midst of a service year with Episcopal Service Corps. I live with others in the program and serve people in the community. We call ourselves an intentional community and share each other’s burdens as one united group. Together we cook, work out, clean, shop, and have different house duties.
It’s a nice life, but it’s far from easy. We challenge each other as much as anything else. We inspire each other and teach each other. Our growing pains are great, but we are all determined to let ourselves grow, and when we rely on God and each other, it is much easier. Our load is lightened by collaborating and relying on each other’s gifts. When we share our suffering, it becomes communally handled. When we share our rejoicing, it becomes communal joy.
Individually, we cannot live to our fullest. I rarely cook and never work out, but I do so for my community because they rely on me. I do dishes to make them happy, and they cook meals without meat to make me happy.
Living like this means giving up small, selfish moments, and as much as I may grumble through it, I am made the better for it. I have been taught that lesson over and over in my service year. Giving up selfish things is painful, but it is infinitely more satisfying.
Perhaps you gave something up over Lent. What is it teaching you? How could it change the rest of your life? Will you let yourself grow?
- Eli Gemora