1 Corinthians 12:12-31
12 There is one body. But it has many parts. Even though it has many parts, they make up one body. It is the same with Christ. 13 We were all baptized by one Holy Spirit into one body. It didn’t matter whether we were Jews or Greeks, slaves or free people. We were all given the same Spirit to drink. 14 The body is not made up of just one part. It has many parts. 15 Suppose the foot says, “I am not a hand. So I don’t belong to the body.” It is still part of the body. 16 And suppose the ear says, “I am not an eye. So I don’t belong to the body.” It is still part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, how could it hear? If the whole body were an ear, how could it smell? 18 God has placed each part in the body just as he wanted it to be. 19 If all the parts were the same, how could there be a body? 20 As it is, there are many parts. But there is only one body. 21 The eye can’t say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” The head can’t say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” 22 In fact, it is just the opposite. The parts of the body that seem to be weaker are the ones we can’t do without. 23 The parts that we think are less important we treat with special honor. The private parts aren’t shown. But they are treated with special care. 24 The parts that can be shown don’t need special care. But God has joined together all the parts of the body. And he has given more honor to the parts that didn’t have any. 25 In that way, the parts of the body will not take sides. All of them will take care of each other. 26 If one part suffers, every part suffers with it. If one part is honored, every part shares in its joy. 27 You are the body of Christ. Each one of you is a part of it. 28 First, God has appointed apostles in the church. Second, he has appointed prophets. Third, he has appointed teachers. Then he has appointed people who do miracles and those who have gifts of healing. He also appointed those able to help others, those able to direct things, and those who can speak in different kinds of languages they had not known before. 29 Is everyone an apostle? Is everyone a prophet? Is everyone a teacher? Do all work miracles? 30 Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in languages they had not known before? Do all explain what is said in those languages? 31 But above all, you should want the more important gifts. And now I will show you the best way of all.
One of Paul’s most beautiful passages – we are all part of the body, the church – we all have a part to play – each and everyone one of us. What a great picture Paul paints for us. Its easy to understand the idea because we all understand that we need all the different parts of our bodies – that they all work together to achieve something amazing – life and more than that – us! There is more to life than just the chemistry and biology of our bodies working efficiently to keep us running. The same is true for the church – when we all work together well the sum is greater than the parts.
Do you want to be part of God’s great plan? There are so many things that seem small or unimportant but if they don’t get done then the more obvious or big things just can’t happen. Ask God to give you some ideas about where you fit and then we all need to hear what Paul is saying here in this passage (and to believe that it is really true) – all of the parts of the church body are important. How do we catch God’s excitement about His plan and our part in it? Ask Him to show us. I know I don’t do that enough.
Thank you so much God that You have a part for each of us in Your plan. That you want each of us to be excited and motivated to play that role. Help us to get the picture and to get excited.
Written by Therese Manning