1 Corinthians 12:12-14 NIV
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.
Many things make us unique from others. Some distinctions make us feel proud and valued. Sally is such a good artist! Johnny can really sing! However, other distinctions are used to categorize and control. Where one lives or the color of one’s skin far too often determine social standing and opportunity.
I remember a childhood TV show with an educational song, “Which of these things is not like the others?” Various pictures flashed up on the TV screen and you were asked to call out the one that was different. As I remember, the images were harmless categories like birds and fish and such. However, the practice of placing objects into categories is deeply rooted. Mankind seems determined to create and use short-cuts and cheat-sheets to determine who is important and who can be ignored. Fortunately, God provides a better way through Christ that does not ignore us as individuals nor does His way lock us into harmful social constructs!
If you have ever seen a beautiful tapestry and then turned it over to inspect the back, you know that what is beautiful on one side is often messy on the other. God knew that mankind would sin, and He knew that positive differences would become hopelessly intertwined with humans creating and abusing differences for selfish purposes. The passage above demonstrates how He brings together what mankind tried to separate. Within the context of the Body, value is given to those parts that are often ignored and marginalized. Distinctness is not lost but reimagined into something beautiful. What Satan tried to destroy through division, God redeemed and reconnected for His kingdom. We each find wholeness and connection through God’s work to redeem what was broken. Each is valuable and has a special purpose within the Body of Christ, not despite our differences, but because of our differences. Wow, only God can do that!
Prayer: Dear Lord, I praise you for transforming what was hopelessly broken into a picture of your power. Thank you for bringing us together in Christ, each unique and special in your eyes. Show me today how you have uniquely prepared me to be an important part of the church. Help me to see others as you see them and give me opportunity to value those often overlooked.