The Daily Encounter
“Unity and Diversity in the Body”
12 Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. 13 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. 14 Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.
1 Corinthians 12:12-14 (ESV)
When you take a step back and consider at a high level what the church looks like, what thought or picture comes to mind? Does it have the same skin color, speak the same language, have people of common background, origin, and talents? Is it uniform in membership, life experiences, and personal priorities? It is centrally located in a particular country? Does it include misfits and the ostracized?
We all have preconceived notions about what the church should be and who should be a part of it, but the reality is the church consists of all of us, “for God so loved the world ... that whosoever ...”
The church consists of a motley crew! And it’s stronger because of it. One thing I love seeing on Sunday at church is a group of people that are completely different in so many ways, except for their desire to worship God and find common ground and unity in Christ. As the body of Christ, we each contribute a strength and we can draw upon each other for faith, community, worship, and friendship.
Every person was created by God and is given a unique purpose in life. Each person also has different skills. On a sports team each position optimally requires a different type of player and the team that can find the best players at each position has a great chance of winning. Each position has a special value-added role - some players are tall, big, fast, and offensively minded, while others are short, small, slow, and defensively minded. Each fills a need. Similarly, through our faith and his grace, along with the presence of the Holy Spirit, we Christ followers are uniquely different but perfectly connected and part of the same body. We each offer what we have and we each bring a unique testimony and ability to share the gospel. Why should we believe this? Look to Jesus and see how he built his inner circle. Jesus told lower-income fishermen, a disliked tax collector, and the woman at the well to follow him, knowing very well they are just the kind of people that he needed to be part of his original community of believers. We too, however imperfect we feel, can be part of the body.