by Andy Williams, Program Advisor, Dominican Republic
“ If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, yet one body. – 1 Corinthians 12:17-20 (ESV)
Oscar Muriu, a pastor from Nairobi, has a lighthearted geographical riff on this passage: “If the whole body were European, where would the sense of joy be? And, if the whole body were African, where would the sense of order be?”
Practically speaking, the variety within the body of Christ is a great gift that equips the Church for multifaceted proclamation and action in love and service of our Lord. At a deeper level, the array of personalities, passions, and talents within the Church helps us to better know Him—imperfectly, through earthen vessels, we communicate aspects of His personality, passions, and ways of working.
Paul employs this metaphor at the individual level—person to person within the local church. But, it is also applicable between nations and across cultures. As we commune together and work cooperatively in Jesus’ name, we experience joy in hard circumstances, righteous anger at injustice, boldness in the face of attack, compassion, self-sacrifice, stewardship, generosity…in short, we come to know Him more fully.
Prayer: Father, thank you for creating a rich and multifaceted global body of Christ that reflects the depth and breadth of your heart. Give us open hearts to learn from each other so we can see you more clearly.