One Body with Many Members
12 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. 13 For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit.
14 For the body does not consist of one member but of many. 15 If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? 18 But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. 19 If all were a single member, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, yet one body.
21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” 22 On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, 24 which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, 25 that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. 26 If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2001). (1 Co 12:12–26). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.
Church Family: Family Connection
What is it that brings family together? I believe it is our joys and our sorrows. When there is something exciting happening in the community, people ask about it. Then, when their questions remain unsatisfied, they usually send a few scouts out to go see firsthand what all the talk is about and report back. Then the first wave of committed members join in. Before long, this exciting event becomes the popular thing that everyone wants to be a part of… at least until the next excitement comes along. Over time, people join in because of this excitement but stay involved if they find healthy, encouraging relationships within.
People also join families due to suffering. Sometimes it is not celebrations that draw people together, but connections in mutual suffering. We all experience pain and suffering and death in our lives and need places we can come to find support in those times. There is a part of suffering that cannot be done alone. In my experience, the bonds forged in the furnace of suffering usually last longer than the ones forged in celebration.
Paul explained this to the Corinthians and let them know that those bonds between people are not dependent upon the status or gifts of the individuals. Rich and poor face both face the same suffering and death. Those who have great public talents can celebrate the gifts of love and new life right alongside those whose gifts keep them serving silently and out of sight. We have more in common with one another than we have keeping us apart.
I really don’t think this is just a questions of unity or diversity. I think God wants both in our families and in our churches. I believe the real question lies in how we are honoring God’s gifts to us, whatever they may be - and not just the gifts He gives to us personally… but am I able to truly thank God for the gifts He has given my neighbor, my brother, my sister as well?
Reflection: What gifts has God given me that I can use to honor Him? What gifts does my family have that need to be celebrated? How can I honor those in my family who experience suffering?
Trying to hear the music in the din of many voices.
All Anger Bible Children Community Culture Disciplines Fear Fresh Expressions Funerals Generations Grace Hurt Injury Jesus Law Leadership Longevity Ministry Models Perseverance Politics Preaching Reactions Scripture Time Truth Values VBS