Reading Marilyn Brown Oden's reflections in Disciplines (The Upper Room, Nashville, 2011) this morning, this was more or less my train of thought (the passage was 1 Corinthians 6:12-20):
The body is the Temple of the Holy Spirit (v. 19) - the Holy Spirit is within you. The Holy Spirit is therefore within each person we meet (Brown Oden).
I remember the eastern greeting, Namaste - the Sacred in me greets the Sacred in you - Holy, Divine, Sacred ...
Holy = set apart (recalling the understanding of the stories in the Hebrew Bible / Old Testament).
Humans are set apart.
I remember what we heard from Craig Mitchell in Church Ministry & Sacraments at college: that ordained persons are set apart within the priesthood of all believers, for the good of all, the good of the whole. We have a particular role and function, but are not above, or extra special or outside.
So then I get to thinking that humans are set apart from the rest of creation - within creation - for the good of all creation. When we ignore the responsibility of this set-apartness and see only the privilege, we diminish rather than enhance creation, and ourselves.
Elsewhere Paul talks about the Holy Spirit (who dwells within us) gifting each one of us. The Holy Spirit sets each one of us apart with our particular gift, for the good of the whole Body.
An ear is set apart for the purpose of hearing, feet for the purpose of standing, walking, running (in partnership with ankles, legs, back, heart, lungs ...). Then I pause to think about this - many members of the body are involved in the task of walking: heart and vessels to pump blood, lungs and mouth and nose for breathing, legs and feet for carrying, arms and torso for balance, eyes and ears for direction ... (and I do remember that there are plenty of people who in reality manage to move about without certain of these members, but for the sake of the metaphor ... ) - each member has an important role to play in moving the body along. No one member could do it alone - if the body were all eyes, it could see where it wanted to go but never get there.
So what are you called to be in the body of Christ (here I begin to make links with the other lectionary passages for the week, and the pieces fall into place to finish off my reflection for tomorrow morning's worship gathering at Belair). How does the Holy Spirit dwell within you and gift you for your fulness of being, and for the health and wholeness of the Body, the community?