Members of Christ // 1 Cor 6:12-20

Define yourself radically as one beloved by God. This is the true self. Every other identity is illusion.
— Brennan Manning

We cannot know who we are apart from relationships. There is no such thing as an independent person. Personhood only exists in relation to others. So it is that true identity is not discovered by looking inward but rather in moving outward. We find ourselves not in the recesses of self-referential naval-gazing , but in the risky glory of love. Love is the height of personal relationship. It binds persons together eternally, such that those caught up in its grasp are ever defined by one another. The three persons of God, Father, Son, and Spirit eternally live in such love. And God has shared this love with us. Jesus has entered the human story so that we might discover who we are in relationship to Him. He has bound himself to us in love. To receive this love, then, is to be caught up in him, to be one with him, to be defined by him. Indeed, all who receive the love of Christ are bound eternally to God and to each other. We know who we are. We are the body of God’s beloved Son.


CALL TO WORSHIP

God has rescued us from the domain of darkness, 
and has transferred us to the kingdom of His Beloved Son.
We look to Him, our salvation. 

In Him we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. 
We look to Him, our righteousness. 

He is the image of the invisible God, 
and all things were created through Him and for Him. 
We look to Him, our creator. 

He is before all things, and in Him all things are held together. 
We look to Him, our sustenance. 

He is the head of the church, and all fullness dwells in Him. 
We look to Him, our unity. 

Therefore, as we have received Christ, let us walk in Him. 
He has reconciled all things to Himself, making peace through the blood of the cross. 
We look to Him, our peace. Amen.

 

PRAYER OF CONFESSION

Our Father, we sin against you and retreat in unbelief.
We would rather be in charge of ourselves than yield to your Spirit.
Have mercy on us. Remind us that we are yours. 

We sin against each other and lash out in anger.
We would rather exercise power than surrender our wills.
Have mercy on us. Remind us that we are yours. 

We sin against our bodies and dwell in shame.
We would rather atone for ourselves than be offended by your forgiveness.
Have mercy on us. Remind us that we are yours. 

We confess that we often do the very things we know we shouldn’t.
Our addictions and patterns hurt our families, neighbors and ourselves.
Have mercy on us. Remind us that we are no longer slaves to sin.

Move us beyond ourselves.
Beyond our routines, beyond our frustrations, beyond our endless efforts to satisfy ourselves.
Thanks be to God, who delivers us through Jesus Christ our Lord. 

Move us beyond ourselves and into your likeness, and newness, and oneness.
Thanks be to God, who delivers us through Jesus Christ our Lord. 

Open our eyes to the redeeming work of Christ.
You are establishing a new world where sex, money, and power benefit relationships,
instead of taking advantage of them.
Thanks be to God, who delivers us through Jesus Christ our Lord. 

Teach us to look to the one who emptied himself unto death for the sake of His oneness with the world.
In the name of this crucified Christ we pray. Amen.

Samantha ConnourTopical