image of blue ocean with floating plastic. text reads If one body part suffers, all the parts suffer with it.

Hokey Pokey
If one [body] part suffers, all the parts suffer with it; if one part gets the glory, all the parts celebrate with it. You are the body of Christ and parts of each other.
—1 Corinthians 12:27-28 (CEB)
PHIWA LANGENI | “You put your right arm in, you put your right arm out. You put your right arm in, and you shake it all about. You do the Hokey Pokey, and you turn yourself around. That’s what it’s all about.
This silly children’s song activates wiggles and giggles as it cycles through body part after body part, inviting the singers to move one zone of their bodies after another. It ends with putting the whole self in, out, and shaking it all about.
The wisdom of the Hokey Pokey is simple yet profound. Each individual body is made up of separate parts built into a whole with diverse shapes, sizes, colors, and abilities. Hon- oring and bearing witness to each whole part of the Body without judgment or shame is essential. Who are we to enact any kind of violence on God’s precious Body? Indeed, when one Body part hurts, we all hurt. When one Body part celebrates, we all celebrate.
Join me, if you dare, in doing the Hokey Pokey right where you are. Let’s put our whole selves in, and then put our whole selves out to make room for others. But when it’s time to speak truth to power and spend down our privileges, let’s put our whole selves back in again, and shake things all about. Let’s do the holy and inclusive Hokey Pokey and turn ourselves around from aligning with the various -isms that harm the Body. Because you know what? That’s exactly what it’s all about!
PRAYER We give you thanks for all the diverse parts of your Body. Amen.

About the Writer:
PHIWA LANGENI is the Ambassador for Innovation & Engagement of the United Church of Christ. They are also Founder of Salus Center, the only LGBTQ resource and community center in Lansing, MI.

Source: “Running from Empty” | 2023 Lent Devotional by the Stillspeaking Writers’ Group, made up of United Church of Christ ministers and writers who collaborate on resources for people in the church, outside the church, and not sure about the church.