Sermon for Sanctity of Human Life Sunday – 1.23.22

+ Sanctity of Life Sunday (3rd Sunday after the Epiphany) – January 23rd, 2022 +

Series C: Nehemiah 8:1-3, 5-6, 8-10; 1 Corinthians 12:12-31; Luke 4:16-30

Beautiful Savior Lutheran

Milton, WA


“The Body of Christ”


In the Name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.


When one member suffers, all suffer together.


We’ve probably all experienced the truth of Paul’s words. You’re walking through your room or the hallway, and bam! You stub your toe. Instantly your entire body reacts in pain. Such a small body part, yet your whole body bends in compassion toward your injured toe.


When one member suffers, all suffer together.


No doubt you’ve experienced this in far more serious ways as well. As you read and pray for the names on our church prayer list, or your own at home. As your sit and hold the hand of a sick or dying family member or friend. As you talk your friend through despair or an anxiety attack. As you pray and wonder, “how long will I suffer, o Lord?”


When one member suffers, all suffer together.


Today our church, and churches across the country, remember God’s gift of life and the sanctity of human life from conception to natural death. We also remember the immense suffering that afflicts and affects God’s gift of the body. Abortion. Euthanasia. Just to name a few. Complex, convoluted words that mask the clear and simple evils they really are.


When one member suffers, all suffer together.


What we experience daily in our bodies, St. Paul uses to describe our life together in Christ.  Scripture describes the reality of the church in many ways: the household of God, living stones, a holy bride.


For you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. 


1 Corinthians 12 is a theological x-ray of the Church, the body of Christ. Paul reveals the interconnectedness of our life in Christ. Not independence, but inter-dependence of our life together in the body of Christ. Like that old song… the leg bone’s connected to the hip bone; and the hip bone’s connected to the…well, you get the idea. The communion of saints. The body of Christ.

For the body does not consist of one member but of many…God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose.  As it is, there are many parts, yet one body.

Paul was addressing one of many problems in the  church in Corinth; seems they cared more about competition and comparison than Christ-like compassion. Believers competing to throw the best parties. Believers comparing themselves, like the disciples squabbling over who’s the greatest.


That’s one of the ways we sin as well. We’re easily tempted to think of ourselves as better than our neighbor. To look down on them for not believing the way we do, or living the way we do, or in whatever ways we compare ourselves to our neighbor.


There is another way we sin, however, that’s just as bad, if not worse. We’re also tempted to think we have no need for our neighbor. And in doing so, we’re essentially saying that he or she does not belong in the body of Christ. Such attitudes caused division in the Corinthian church and they still cause division, strife, and brokenness today.


This brokenness is all too familiar in our country. We see broken homes. Broken families. And most of all, broken lives. We see in our country and culture the deadly idea that there are neighbors among us – whether they’re in the womb, or have various disabilities, or are elderly – that they’re neighbors that someone has said, “I have no need of you.”


We see in our country and culture an endless parade of sinful rationalizations…Society will be better off if irresponsible people didn’t have unwanted babies; we’d have less crime, free up tax dollars. It’s better for the unwanted child to never know he was unwanted and unloved. It’s better for the poor girl, the frightened boyfriend, the embarrassed parents, or the indifferent husband if this unwanted child did not enter the world. Yet all the rationalizations, excuses, and justifications cannot change the fact that one person decided that another person is useless; that there’s no reason – for this baby, or this person with these disabilities, or this elderly person – to have life.


When one member suffers, all suffer together.


Paul’s words remind us that our Lord cares deeply about you his body, in body and soul. Our Lord cares for you in your physical body and all that this life entails. Our Lord’s own life reveals this.


Jesus did not become incarnate as a duck or a tiger. He was made man. The Son of God, begotten from all eternity, was once a zygote, and then, later, in the wonder of life and human birth, born of the Virgin Mary. The eternal and omnipotent Son from heaven…an embryo…cared for in the mercy of His mother’s womb. This is the strange – yet beautiful and biblical truth – that God was cuddled by His mother Mary; God played in the wood shavings of a Nazareth carpenter’s shop; God learned to walk. The One who created the heavens and the earth … became flesh, blood and bone like you, for you.


The mystery and grace of God’s love abounds all the more. Jesus who assumed a body for you was crucified and suffered in his body for you. So that all of our selfishness. Lovelessness. Brokenness. Our guilt and shame. Our failures, fears, and faithlessness. All our sinful comparisons and carelessness. Yes, even fallen man’s sins against the body, abortion, euthanasia. Jesus bore all of this in his body on the cross. Every last one of our sins is paid for. You are forgiven.


No matter how we’ve sinned or how great our sin, Jesus forgives you. There’s no sin too large for Jesus to forgive. No sin greater than Jesus’ death for you. No sin that mars you so badly that Jesus cannot make you a part of his body. You were bought with a price, body and soul. You belong to Christ. You are a member of his body, the Church. Christ has made your suffering his own, to make his glory and joy your own.


We are joined together in Christ not only through his sufferings but also in his honor and glory. Because of this all that hurts and harms us in this life will pass away. Until that day comes, yes, we suffer together. But more than that, in Christ, we also rejoice together. And we care for one another as members of the body of Christ.


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.                                    And so it is for you who are in Christ.


In the Name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Beautiful Savior

is a traditional Lutheran Church, faithful to God's Word and His Sacraments. We equip God's people to serve, love, and encourage one another as we grow in our personal relationship with Christ. We reach out to the community as beacons of light, sharing the love of God in Christ Jesus, our Savior.

Church Office Hours

Monday - Thursday 8:30am-3:30pm

Friday 8:30am-11:30am

The office is closed on Fridays during the summer months of June, July, and August.

Preschool Office Hours

August - May
Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday

By appointment only June and July


2306 Milton Way
Milton, WA 98354
(253) 922-6977
(253) 922-6977