RELATE TO ONE ANOTHER
Come to the Lord of the church and ask him to help you see how you belong in your church.
Read 1 Corinthians 12:12–20
Unity and Diversity in the Body
12 Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. 14 Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.
15 Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? 18 But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. 19 If they were all one part, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, but one body.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectHave you ever injured a part of your body? How did that affect everyday activities?
Divisions in the church are not surprising; after all, it’s made up of fallen, self-centered human beings in whom God still has much work to do. We don’t get everything right. We don’t naturally get along with everyone.
For the early church the thought that the slave and his master were now equals in Christ was staggering and went against every social norm. Jews and Gentiles were opposed for many reasons and, outside of Christ, didn’t really understand one another or have anything in common. Today’s church may not divide over class, wealth, or ethnic differences—although it may—but there are plenty of other fault lines. The deeper truth is that we are one because we all share in the benefits of what Christ has done for us and we are all filled with the same Spirit.
The church in Corinth so valued the gift of tongues that they were in danger of losing diversity. A church composed of people who have the same skills, gifts, background and experience would be not only boring but also ineffective. It is God’s church, not ours, and he is in control, arranging things the way that he wants even if we find it inconvenient. This is worth remembering the next time you are involved in a disagreement or find someone else hard to get on with.
Are you using your gifts in your church? Find out this week where you can serve in the body of Christ.
Pray that your church might have a clear and united witness to its community.