51 degrees sounds pretty good right now, doesn’t it? The other night, you remember, the night when it got down to the coldest temperatures in 20 years due to the attack of the Polar Vortex, 51 degrees would have been awesome. Compared to below zero temperatures 51 degrees would be a much welcomed break. Except, when your heater isn’t working properly and it gets to 51 degrees in your house. We survived. We put on extra layers and used lots of blankets. Our furnace was repaired and all is well. It turns out, a relatively small but important piece equipment caused the furnace to shut down.
This most recent experience with the creeping cold, reminded me of two powerful truths. This most recent experience with the creeping cold reminded me of two powerful truths: 1) Small problems can have a big impact, and 2) all parts of the system are important. This sounds an awful like lot Paul in 1 Corinthians 12:12-20, “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.”
Paul reminds us of the importance of the whole. All of us have an important part to play in God’s unfolding story. We are his workmanship created in Christ Jesus to do good in this world (Eph 2:10). When any of the parts of the whole aren’t working properly, or suffering the whole system is affected. When any one of us thinks that we are better than another, or we begin to place our selfish desires above other’s needs we can have a negative impact on the body as a whole. I don’t know about you, but I often cringe at the portrayal of Christians in the media or in movies. Why do we often get portrayed as hateful, judgmental, weird, hypocritical, intolerant…? The list could go on. I think part of the reason for this negative portrayal is the elevation of our selfish platforms, agendas, and issues over against trying to elevate the grandeur and glory of Christ to a broken world.