School has begun, and in a few short weeks, the blissful days of summer are going to come to an end. The weather will turn cooler, the shadows deeper, and the busyness of the new school year will really take over.

Though each school year promises exciting opportunities to meet new people and build new relationships at school, pause for a moment and consider the relationships that you share with others in your faith community.

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Certainly the body isn’t one part but many. If the foot says, “I’m not part of the body because I’m not a hand,” does that mean it’s not part of the body? If the ear says, “I’m not part of the body because I’m not an eye,” does that mean it’s not part of the body? If the whole body were an eye, what would happen to the hearing? And if the whole body were an ear, what would happen to the sense of smell? But as it is, God has placed each one of the parts in the body just like he wanted.

1 Corinthians 12:14-18

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I think one of the most challenging parts of being a teenager in church is not knowing where you belong. I remember feeling like I was a member of the church, but I wasn’t quite a full member yet. I didn’t vote on stuff during our church meetings, nor did I help lead worship unless it was a youth Sunday.

In this passage, Paul is calling upon us to think about what it means to be part of a large whole. Yes, a pinky finger is still a pinky finger, but it's also part of your body. Each part has its purpose and place, and this helps the whole body function together as one. No one says, “Hey, this is my whole body … well, except for my ears … they’re doing their own thing.” No matter how old you are or how much you know about faith, you are part of the body of Christ. And that’s a good thing.

Jason Santos

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God of all things, I’d like to thank you for making me part of the body of Christ. Even when I don’t feel important in my church, I’d like to ask you to help me remember that you have called me to play an important part. Help me to find out what that is. Help me to care for and love those with whom I am one in you. In Christ’s name, amen.

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Okay … now seize this day and those wonderful relationships you have in your church by sharing a moment with someone from your faith community. As you begin this transition to the next season, try sharing it with someone close to you.

Jason Santos

Rev. Jason Brian Santos, Ph.D. is the Associate for Collegiate Ministries for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), and an ordained teaching elder in the PCUSA. He earned his doctorate in practical theology from Princeton Theological Seminary, where his research focused on the spiritual formation of youth and young adults. He currently resides in Louisville, Kentucky, with his wife, two sons, and a couple of unruly animals.

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