While I was in Panama a couple weeks ago our group held devotions every night. I was given the privilege to lead devotions on the last night. Upon preparing for this time, I wanted to tie some experiences and feelings we had all shared together as group durring the week. I decided to share 1 Corinthians 12:12-26. The following are notes from what I shared and the conversation which ensued.
“Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. 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. Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.
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. 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. 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? But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body.
The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!”On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.”
-Body of Christ-
It is important to note that the “Body of Christ” means humans who are living on this earth. This is made clear in the Parable of the Sheep and the Goats in Matthew 25:34-40.
“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
What we do to/with other humans we to to/with Christ. Serving others is serving Christ.
When we think about service in the context of a global body we naturally come to a conclusion: Serving others is not only for the benefit of the one being served, it is also for the one who is serving. If we think of ourselves as an eye and the people we are serving as feet we understand their importance in the world. We clearly see that we need them to function. An eye can not direct the body if the feet are unable to transport the body. Just because the eye gets more attention than the feet does not make the eye more important.
If fact the image of a being that is only an eye is displayed the verse. It seems totally ridiculous to think of a being that can only see, rolls around to move, can not eat, and can not smell. If we are a global body, we all need to be working together, in interdependance not independence.
If more people viewed the world as a body, I think the world would be a better place. We would have less hate crimes and violence. There would be more acts of love. Less exploitation. More grace. And more Jesus.
A closing question to think about and ponder:
Is it the “weak” who need the “strong” or is it the “strong” who need the “weak”?