One body

Romans 12:4-5:
Just as each of us has one body with many members, and not all members have the same function, so in Christ we who are many are one body, and each member belongs to one another.

1 Corinthians 12:12-27:
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. 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. 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 again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and on those parts of the body that we think less honourable we bestow the greater honour, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honour to the part that lacked it, that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honoured, all rejoice together. Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.

Yesterday I spoke of the fact that we all have spiritual gifts, that the Holy Spirit distributes those gifts. Today I want to make one simple point… these gifts are for the building up of the people of God, His church. The above bits of the bible remind us that church is people, and that it is strongest when following where God leads and all the people recognise they all have a part in ‘being’ the church.

Paul uses the body picture as a way of make such a simple point… one whole with many different parts. If all the parts are working together as they should then the body is as strong as it can be, but if one part of the body is hurting or missing then the whole body suffers. Did you know that if you lose your big toes you have to learn to balance again? This is because the big toe helps us balance when we walk. Incredible, isn’t it, that such a small part of the body can have such a huge impact when it’s missing?

Did you know that if your appendix becomes inflamed and is not treated quickly enough it could kill you? Incredible, isn’t it, that such a small part of the body could cause so much pain if left untreated, if the cause of the infection is not dealt with.

Over the weeks and months to come as lockdown eases and we begin to get a sense of HOW God is asking us to be church remember that He has made every single one of us part of His body, His church, through Jesus. We are strongest when we move together in the unity of the Holy Spirit, lifting up, encouraging, carrying, healing, loving each other as required.

New times are not just coming, they are here. So how will we as family, as one body, BE church in them?

The answer – united, together, eyes fixed on Jesus, following the leading of the Holy Spirit.