WEEK THREE, DAY THREE, COMMON ENGLISH BIBLE COMPANION
WEEK THREE THEME: COMMUNITY
DAY THREE THEME: BUT THEY MIGHT BE DIFFERENT
SCRIPTURE: I CORINTHIANS 12:12-27
“Christ is just like the human body – a body is a unit and has many parts; and all the parts of the body are one body, even though there are many. We were all baptized by one Spirit into one body, whether Jew or Greek, or slave or free, and we all were given one Spirit to drink. Certainly the body isn’t one part but many.
If the foot says, ‘I’m not part of the body because I’m not a hand,’ does that mean it’s not part of the body? If the ear says, ‘I’m not part of the body because I’m not an eye,’ does that mean it’s not part of the body? If the whole body were an eye, what would happen to the hearing? And if the whole body were an ear, what would happen to the sense of smell?
But as it is, God has placed each one of the parts in the body just like he wanted. If all were one and the same body part, what would happen to the body? But as it is, there are many parts but one body. So the eye can’t say to the hand, ‘I don’t need you,’ or in turn, the head can’t say to the feet, ‘I don’t need you.’
Instead, the parts of the body that people think are the weakest are the most necessary. The parts of the body that we think are less honorable are the ones we honor the most. The private parts of our body that aren’t presentable are the ones that are given the most dignity. The parts of our body that are presentable don’t need this. But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the part with less honor so that there won’t be division in the body and so the parts might have mutual concern for each other. If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it; if one part gets the glory, all the parts celebrate with it.
You are the body of Christ and parts of each other.”
THE WORD OF GOD FOR THE PEOPLE OF GOD – THANKS BE TO GOD!
SOAKING IT IN: Greed, pride, self-importance and insecurity seem to be the biggest threat to our ability to keep our citizenship active in the Kingdom of God. Our humanity would have us continually compare ourselves to any and all others, and since the beginning of humankind, our humanity consistently works agains us. Such distractions leave us dormant and ineffective until we snap out of it!
God’s greatest gift to his children, outside of his unfailing love, is free will. This ability to decide for ourselves which way we will go – how we will think – how we will act – what we will say – what we won’t say… this free will must constantly be held up against the personality of God. That is where we lose the entitlement to dwell on what we want and do what we want and see the greater good that God is using us to for.
As we place our free will at the feet of Jesus and follow in his footprints, denying our own self-importance and human desires, then we can accept our place of use and purpose within God’s plan. We are never able just to lay it down and be free from our human tendencies. Just like Jesus’ experience in human form, there will always be the pulls of the human existence. But just like Jesus, and because of Jesus, we have the ability to stay in direct contact with our Heavenly Father to help us with the challenges of our own humanity.
In order to maintain our citizenship in the Kingdom of God, our relationship with Our Father is of the utmost importance. One dollop of “me-ism” can rock the boat for months. Entitlement to be something that is not within our gift set or comparing ourselves to the gifts and graces of others is time spent in futility. Spending time with the Father and allowing ourselves the opportunity to see ourselves as our Father sees us gives peace and the freedome to be as we are created. All of us, just like ears and feet have a unique and special and appointed purpose. Sometimes being the ear is so very vital. But if the ear needed to respond in movement to what it has heard, then the feet become essential in fulfilling the need at hand. It becomes a beautiful joint effort!
Paul wants the Corinthians and God wants us all to know that no matter whether our work is done behind the scenes or we are out front in leadershipleading – we do NOTHING alone. God surrounds us with all the necessary folks and giftedness to continue God’s good work on Earth.
God has created us in infinite widom for what is now. We are fearfully and wonderfully made for such a moment as this. Be the part you are gifted to be with joy and thanksgiving!