Wednesday 20 January, 2021

1 Corinthians 12:12-31

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. 21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” 22 On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, 24 while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, 25 so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. 26 If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. 27 Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. 28 And God has placed in the church first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, of helping, of guidance, and of different kinds of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? 30 Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret? 31 Now eagerly desire the greater gifts. And yet I will show you the most excellent way.

What a beautiful analogy, using the human body to describe how the people of God work best together in both unity and in unique individuality. The older I get, the more I have experienced how true it is that we are much better together than when we try to go it alone. 

The human body is one of the most magnificent examples in all of Creation of something that only works best when all of the parts are functioning well. Each part of us is unique, intricate and inter-connected.

I think most people would agree to the idea of unity, personal connection and the power of teamwork. However, in practice it can sometimes be tricky to achieve this, given our human imperfections.   

Sometimes when our interactions with others don’t go smoothly, the hurt and frustration can cause us to pull back and stop believing that we have a place within the “body” of the church. Or maybe you have given up trying to play your part because you believe you have nothing special to offer.

Can I encourage each one of us today to remind ourselves of this truth – that we are each uniquely placed and gifted by God to play our part on His team. Let’s continue to ask God to give us the grace to keep giving of ourselves and staying connected, even when it feels tough to do so. 

No one person has it all together. That’s never been God’s design. But together, by God’s grace, we can do so much more than we ever could on our own.

Written by Shelley Witt

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