Thursday 21st March
I once heard of a story of a preacher who was asked to preach at a family service. As he looked around the beautiful 17th century church building, he noticed the delicately crafted stain glass windows. As the sun shone through the glass, the beauty of each individual picture became clear. The preacher had now found his inspiration. As he stood on stage and started his sermon, he invited some children up to the front from the congregation. He began sharing on the importance of each child’s worth and how they too make up the body of Christ. He then explained how each child was like each individual drawing that made up the beautiful imagery of the stain glass windows. Each pane of glass was individually and delicately crafted to make up the whole picture. As he continued, he pointed at each of the children and said that each child was an individual pane of glass that made up the whole picture of the church. He continued by naming each child a pane of glass “You’re a pain, and you’re a pain, and you’re a pain”. The congregation burst into laughter as he comically highlighted that each child was a “pain”.
Although this story has a comical connotation, the truth is that we as a body are made up of individual “panes” (and sometimes “pains”) of glass to form the beautiful picture of the Body of Christ. Every believer contributes to that picture and without them, the picture would look odd. Interestingly the stain glass window is made up from moulded and shaped pieces of glass fused together by the heat of a furnace and joined by lead lining. So it is the same with the church. We are all individually hand crafted by our creator and united by the Holy Spirit’s precious design. The wonder is how so many people from all different backgrounds, life experiences, and cultures all make up such a beautiful image and reflection of Christ. The simple answer is by and through the “oneness of the Spirit”.
Paul in Ephesians reminds the church in Ephesus of the uniting factor in the believer’s lives; the oneness of the Godhead. “One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism, and One God and Father, who is over all and in all and living through all.” Each believer has been called to the hope of the future (the hope of God’s kingdom come on this earth and in His ultimate return). We are all ONE body united by ONE Spirit. The Spirit of the living and Holy God. Through the Holy Spirit living in us and through us, although being different as individuals, we can live in humility, patience and gentleness bonded by love, bearing with each others faults and weaknesses. Because of the oneness and unity within the Godhead, as He lives in us, unity and love become manifest in our lives.
What a great image. Men and women, on that great day before the throne of God; from every tribe, tongue and nation, all worshipping the creator of the world. The truth is, is that it is possible now! We can worship as a unified body now! Are you ready to stand alongside your brother and sister in Christ, although they might not be the “same” as you, in the hope for which you were called?