There was a day when Jack’s eyes started loudly boasting that they were the most important part of the body. His fingers protested, “We grasp far more than you can!” The tongue listened, and then offered that, in fact, he was the most important part of the body. The other parts scoffed. So when Jack was told to eat his broccoli, the tongue blurted out, “No, I won’t! Broccoli is stupid! I don’t care if you send me to my room for a million years!” After a few hours the eyes rolled sarcastically and conceded the point so they could leave Jack’s room. But no one was really convinced.
It is funny how Jesus’ disciples fought over this very same thing (see Luke 22). And Jesus stopped them, saying that the greatest in His kingdom was the servant of all. They did not understand at that point, but after Jesus had died, risen, and sent the Holy Spirit, relationships among the Christians began to look very different (see Acts 4), with a focus on giving.
Paul compared the Church, or world-wide body of Christians, to a body in Ephesians 4, with every Christian making up a different part of it:
“11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ,13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.”
Unity. That is our goal. And our actions as individuals vary as we respond to this community goal. How in the world do we coordinate? Through Jesus, the head, the controller, the director. We have to look to Him, or we’ll poke a finger in our eye or trip over our feet. And we respond with love when someone does mess up. It is not an easy task. But working as the Body of Christ to the world redirects our focus to His plan, and how we can encourage others in their role. It is amazing to think that believers are connected through time, space, cultural barriers…and there is so much that God can do through a willing pair of hands, feet, eyes, heart.
God, it is easy to compare myself with someone else, second-guess my abilities, or feel superior to another Christian. God, help me to see the big picture, to look to Jesus for my direction, and be amazed at all that You do through our efforts. Thank You for calling us on this grand adventure together! To You be the glory, Amen.