For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit.
1 Corinthians 12:12-13
Throughout the bible the gathering of believers is referred to time and time again as the body of Christ. Ever wonder why that analogy? It says in 1 Corinthians that we are like the body in that we have a variety of parts, but all united in a single body. As 1 Corinthians 12 continues, it goes on to describe the importance of the body working in unity. It talks about the eyes and ears working together, the eyes and nose being teammates and so on. I believe that this passage is about more than working together and playing nice, it’s about our purpose.
If we are meant to be like a body as 1 Corinthians 12, there is a key characteristic of all body parts that we shouldn’t lose track of. Every body part has a purpose. Each body part has a task that helps to serve the whole body. No body part just exists, or exists to be served; each body part contributes to the wellness of the entire body. Except the appendix. Many scientists believe it was a once useful organ, but as human diets have changed, the organs usefulness is now negligible.
If you are honest, many engage the church like an appendix. Instead of fulfilling your biblical vision of serving the greater body with your unique skills and gifts, you look to the church to serve you. Church is a place to sit on Sunday morning for an hour, and then head home till the next week. Yet the biblical picture is clear. We are called to be the body of Christ, with each member serving the whole, in unity with all the other parts. So our call is clear, don’t be an appendix, instead be a useful part of the body.
- What is one way that you could better use your gifts to serve others in your local body of Christ?
- How could you encourage others to engage the body of Christ more deeply?