Body Talk

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[c] 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. 14Even 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.” (1 Corinthians 12:12-26)

I am laid up on the couch, whether I am at home or in the office. I was thinking through the above passage from 1 Corinthians 12, and it struck me how important it is for the body to function with all of its various parts and systems working properly.The body is a unit. Pain in one area affects all other parts of the body. My left is broken, and I can’t walk. The rest of my body has to work together to protect my injured foot. How absurd would it be, if the rest of my body decided, “well, left foot since you are not able to pull your weight around here, you are permanently dismissed.” It’s important for each part of the body to do what it was designed to do. But, thanks be to God that when their is a major stressor to the body, he has designed it so that weaker parts are cared for and helped along by stronger parts. I need my broken left foot.It is still a part of the whole!

Churches function this way too. If Paul’s body metaphor is meant to be taken for the church (and it is), then it is important for us to recognize the importance of all parts of the church. The more glamorous positions are just as important as the not so glamorous ones. Elders and bathroom cleaners, minsters and church historians, nursery workers and money counters, ushers and the P.A. person along with the countless others who comprise the body of Christ are all valuable. Each part is a much needed part of the puzzle and helps to carry out the work of the church. We need to learn to care for our own when one of our own is wounded. The body ceases to be a living organism when the members of the body are dismembered.

About Jason Retherford

The random musings of a youth minister.
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