Wednesday 20th March
1 Corinthians 12:12-31
I am pleasantly surprised that when I visit a church in another country, that I find I have even more brothers and sisters. We might not know each other but the connection that is there from being united in our union with Christ is evident. Have you ever had that experience? It is so rewarding when someone you don’t even know, can’t even speak the same language with, doesn’t even look remotely like you, comes up to you and gives you a warm embrace as a brother would do to his brother. Why? Because you have the same Father. Why? Because when we surrender our lives to Him and become His children, we join into His body and His family.
Paul talks of this unity in his analogy of the Body of Christ (the church). Interestingly, although we are part of the same body, we all have different roles, different callings and different gifts. We might even be from a different country yet still all parts of the Body of Christ are integral to the functioning of this living and growing organism. Again although this passage is mostly for a local church context, we can take the principle of every member’s worth and apply it both internationally and globally. However part of applying this passage in a local church context, highlights the importance of each individual discovering his/her role in ‘church life’ and how they can best be used for the extension of God’s Kingdom on this earth. Have you discovered your role in church or do you feel that there is nothing that you can give? I want to encourage you that you are valuable to your church.
Think about it like this. Can the ear smell, or can the nose hear? Obviously no. Why? Because they were made for different roles and purposes. So it is the same with us. We might not all be able to teach or preach but your gifting as a hospitable person or your friendly welcoming character might be just what the church is looking for. No role is above another’s or more important. Each role is necessary. In Fact Paul echoes this in verse 22 when describing the worth of all individuals, “…those members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary.” The role of the corporate body is to encourage everyone in their gifting and calling so that the body may function effectively and in unity. When one falls, the body picks them up. When we are living as a body should, then it becomes harder to fall because you have even more support from your ‘brothers and sisters’ in Christ to hold you up when you are weak and encourage you when your vulnerable.
My wife told me of a story in her school where some children were playing jenga together. After the game had been won the young pupils decided to make dominos from jenga pieces and sure enough as they stacked them up and pushed the first piece, the domino effect took place and one piece stumbled onto the next. However there was one young girl who in her inquisitive mind, noticed that if you stacked the pieces together tightly then the pieces wouldn’t fall down. In her excitement at finding this truth she shouted “look Miss, they don’t fall down when they are together.” What this young girl realised is a truth that the church need to live out in their lives. Whilst being individuals and necessary to the functioning of the Body of Christ, being united and together in all things creates an atmosphere whereby we cannot easily be shaken. We are stronger together and necessary as individuals.
“Look Miss…they don’t fall down when they are together.”