One Please

Just one please. You ever get the feeling that you and the rest of the world just aren’t in sync. And not just the rest of the world but even at home, at church, everybody has a different opinion, everybody has an agenda, everybody seems to be going in a different direction and it’s not the direction you want to go. There is no consensus. I mean look at our own denomination within the next month we’re basically going to vote to split the denomination in half. Personally, I don’t think god’s will let that happen but that is my opinion and I do not know the mind of God. But I do know what God said through His servant Paul. He said, 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 the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and we were all made to drink of one Spirit. One spirit, the Holy Spirit. One body, no matter who we are, we are one body collectively. I know that we are indeed individuals. In fact, each of us has certain gifts and abilities that others don’t. We often don’t feel that we are appreciated for what we do or give to the body of Christ. We may feel left out, rejected, or maybe we feel underappreciated or that we’re being taken advantage of.

Perhaps it’s the other way around maybe we feel that we’re the only ones who know the true direction of the church and perhaps we’re frustrated that no one else can see what we see. Regardless of which portion of the body you see yourself in, please remember that it’s God that is in control of the body of Christ and not us. There are many parts to the human body, and we share many similar traits as a Christian body to a real body. While our strength in unity is undeniable it is our unity in diversity that is truly remarkable. Just like the real body the Christian body does not consist of one member but of many. If the foot would say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear would say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole body were hearing, where would the sense of smell be? But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose.  As He chose. That’s the key. He chose He designed, and we are designed to be who and what we are. And none of us are insignificant, none of us are worthless, and certainly there are none of us that have the right or the ability, to determine who should or should not be called a member of the body of Christ. That is solely up to the creator. I am going to assume that everyone here is not familiar with genetics, even though we have several people here whom I know are more than a little familiar with genetics. Still I’m going to err on the side of caution and give a simple explanation. Simply put genetics is the study of heredity, or how the characteristics of living things are transmitted from one generation to the next. Every living thing contains the genetic material that makes up DNA molecules. This material is passed on when we reproduce. So, the basic unit of heredity is the gene and all the gene’s together make up our Walmart. No wait they make up our DNA and every cell in your body has the DNA blueprint to reproduce you completely and identically, down to the last hair on your head. In fact, I just read a story that says scientists can use stem cells (which are essentially blank cells that act like sticky note) and you can write whatever you want on them and stick it onto a bad spot in the blueprint and correct it, any part of the blueprint, it doesn’t matter. Stem cells can be programmed to be any type of cell.

Well scientists are programming them to regrow new teeth. Adult teeth. Pop in some stem cells and poof you have a brand-new smile, no more dentures. Amazing right! And they still think we are descended from apes and God doesn’t exist. I didn’t need to see the awesome complexity of life through genetics or stem cells, to know that God exists, I already had that faith, but I don’t see how a scientist, particularly a geneticists can look at the perfection that is life and not believe in the Creator. It just boggles the mind. But I digress. All of this is to make a very simple point. Each of us as a member of the body of Christ carry the DNA so to speak that allows anyone of us or just one of us to recreate the church universal. And whether we know genetics or not, we are aware of this fact within ourselves, even if we have never given it a thought it’s always there. We sometimes say things like God is everywhere, so the church is everywhere. Or my personal favorite, I don’t need the church because I am the church, so everywhere I go so does the church. And there is truth in these statements, but they are also misleading because it was Jesus who embodied the Church not us alone. If all were a single member, where would the body be? As it is, there are many members, yet one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” On the contrary, the members of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and those members of the body that we think less honorable we clothe with greater honor, and our less respectable members are treated with greater respect; whereas our more respectable members do not need this. But God has so arranged the body, giving the greater honor to the inferior member, that there may be no dissension within the body, but the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together with it; if one member is honored, all rejoice together with it. Folks we can’t do this alone. It takes all of us to be the body of Christ. Let be specific, we need the poor, the rich, married, the singles. We need the broken and the whole. We need the Democrat and the Republican, the entrepreneur, and the blue-collar worker. The sinner and the saved. We cannot exist in a vacuum or as an island within the church. We can no longer afford to deny the existence of others within the body of Christ simply because we don’t agree with them. We must except each other for who we are and deal with it.

Because each of us is precious to God. Not just the hands or just the feet, but the whole body of Christ is precious to the Lord. And because we are precious to the Lord, he has given us great gifts with the expectation that we will use them for the betterment of the Kingdom rather than ourselves. As members of the body of Christ we are expected to love our neighbors as much as we love God. We are expected to follow His will faithfully and joyously. We are gifted with the power and majesty of Christ through our baptism and acceptance into the Kingdom of Christ.  So that now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers; then deeds of power, then gifts of healing, forms of assistance, forms of leadership, various kinds of tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret? Theanswer is no, and it’s always been no and no matter how great we think we are. No matter how wise, or pious, how strong, or intelligent we think we are. We can never be more than God, but strive for the greater gifts… He tells us, put forth the effort and show the world what we can do together as the body of Christ and not individually as parts of the body but together as a whole, and I will show you a still more excellent way. Amen!

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