Day 22 - Many Parts, One Body

Day 22 - Many Parts, One Body

Written By: Pat Hardin

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. 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. For the body does not consist of one member but of many. 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. 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? But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, yet one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” 1 Corinthians 12:12-21 (ESV)
It sounds crazy to suggest that your foot talks and declares its independence from the rest of your body, doesn’t it? Imagine if your eye suddenly began telling your hand to get lost because the hand is no longer necessary, or your head declaring the feet as unimportant. Ridiculous, right? I think that is exactly the point Paul is making in this letter to the church at Corinth. He uses a metaphor of the human body to illustrate the connection within the family of believers and to point out the absurdity of their division over certain issues. This church was planted in one of the most wicked cities of its day, which meant that most of the new believers came from vile, sinful backgrounds. After Paul’s departure, some of these believers must have reverted back to their sinful practices and tried to convince others in the church to join them. It is said that misery loves company, and this situation lends credence to that old saying. 
Are we so different today? Aren’t there still instances of sexual immorality in the church, of disputes between church members, of heresy spoken or gossip whispered behind someone’s back? God created each of us in His image, so there is a united Spirit within all of us who recognize and profess belief in Almighty God. However, each of us is unique with different gifts and talents, different personalities, and different backgrounds. Thus, we are separate beings united in purpose and belief, made complete and whole by our differences.

We chose the title of “United” for our Disciple Now weekend years ago, because we saw the need to include people of all backgrounds in the family of God. The United Weekend has been a breath of fresh air for our church, as we have seen people of different ages and backgrounds come together to worship our Lord, Jesus Christ.
To help this make sense, I like to compare it to eating out at a restaurant. It would be a shame if every restaurant was the same and there was no variety, wouldn’t it? I think the same could be said for the church. It would be boring if we were all the same and if all churches were the same. I love meeting new people and sharing Jesus with them. One of my favorite methods of getting to know someone is to share a meal with them, especially at different restaurants. When I ask someone if they have a favorite place to eat, it is almost always different from the last place I ate. You know why? We are all different, yet alike in our faith! We should also be alike in our desire to live sinless lives. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” (ESV) I am learning almost daily how to follow Jesus more closely as I purposely engage in relationships with others, especially those who are different from me. I find myself listening more and learning more as I talk with some of the younger people in our church, and as i share meals with people in different stages of life than me. Together, we are discovering what it means to be “many members, but one body.” (v. 20) I am constantly challenged to live a life above reproach as I attempt to live a life worth imitating. If you are not deliberately building relationships with those who are different from you, why not give it a try? Imagine how exciting Church at the Grove would be if we all reached out to someone who is completely different than we are and invited them into the family.
Find someone in the church who is different than you are and invite them to share a meal with you. If you cannot afford to take them out for a meal, invite them into your home. Spend time getting to know them and their story.
Father God, I believe you have filled me and my church family with your Spirit, making us one body in Christ. Please help us serve together, sit together, share meals together, build community together, and bear one another’s burdens together. May we experience unity that glorifies You and exalts Your Name, Amen.