While our prayer this week may seem a bit self-serving, the reality is that this prayer is foremost about God. The very idea of the church illustrates that God has brought people together for various reasons. In this instance, the old adage, “There is no I in team” has merit. We know that a group of people, when properly working together, can potentially accomplish more than the sum of individuals.
In 1 Corinthians 12.12-30, Paul uses the image of the human body to illustrate his point. While in context he deals with fairly specific works and positions, I want to consider some of the secondary applications for us today. Paul makes it very clear that every part has its place (vss. 14-17). The eye sees while the ear hears. The only way the body works optimally is with every part performing its function. It is God who has built the physical as well as the spiritual body (vss. 18, 24). Therefore, I have no right to excuse myself from my individual part. The body’s composition is about function rather than status (vss. 22-24). The values of God’s kingdom often differ from the world’s (see Matthew 5.3-10). It is the poor in spirit, the meek, and the merciful that are valued instead of the rich and powerful. Every part of the body must work toward unity (vss. 25-27). Jesus sought to bring together, based on truth (John 14.6, 17.23) grounded in God’s character and exemplified in the relationship between the Father and Son. On a practical note, have you ever noticed that every time there is a problem with one part of your physical body another part instantly seeks to help? Likewise, when we work together, we naturally complement one another.
There are endless works in the body. The question is not, “Is there something for me to do?” but rather, “Do I want to do my part?” At Willowdale, we are just beginning to scratch the surface of various works. The three “E’s” alone provide more than enough work for everyone: Edification, Evangelism, Education. The church must be a place for everyone. It is not about whether one is a mouth or a pinky toe. While the secondary benefit is having a family that appreciates and accepts me, the primary focus is still God. We do our respective parts in order to optimize the body so that GOD CAN BE GLORIFIED (Ephesians 3.21; Matthew 5.16).
Lord, help me find my place