August 23, 2021

I Corinthians 12:14-20

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.

Our current series is exploring who we are as Christians, and the truth is amazingly broad – God intends a wealth of beautiful experiences for His children! The Bible captures this breadth through a number of metaphors: we are masterpieces of God’s artistry, we are followers of Jesus down paths of suffering, and we are inextricably bound together as family, as brothers and sisters within the family of God. Just to name a few!

This week’s picture is a body, and Paul says each of us is like a different body part. And like individual body parts, we each have a unique role to play in the body of Christ as a whole. That means you might be an eye! Or a singing vocal cord! Or a beautiful head of hair! We all like the sound of those, don’t we?

But there are a lot of body parts, and many body parts don’t sound nearly as exciting as that. You might be a heel, all calloused over from a life spent on your feet. Or a boring little toenail on a middle toe. Or an appendix (with everyone wondering “What do you even do around here anyway?”).

But every one of those “unexciting” body parts plays just as vital a role as the rest of them! We all know this to be true, too – when was the last time you smashed a toenail (or something similar) and your entire existence was hampered by the annoying pain of just that one little tiny part?

The point Paul is making is this: As a Christian, you are part of something bigger than yourself. And perhaps even more importantly, you have a part to play in that something. Your part in the story of Christ is interwoven with the parts of every other Christian on this earth, just like a heart and lung and blood vessels and nerves all function together somehow to keep us alive. We don’t grasp all that interconnectedness very well, and we’re not even aware of it most of the time, but it’s true all the same.

Have you ever asked God what “body part” He created you to be? What role do you fill in this wonderfully interconnected body of Christ? And based on that, what might God want you to better understand about yourself and about Him today?

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