This past week my wife and I had a wonderful lunch with dear friends, residents of Gainesville who served alongside us all the years that we lived there.
In fact, in 2019, when we sold our house in preparation to move to Orlando, they opened their home for us to live with them during the two months or so of transition. Anyone who has received such friendship and care as did we will know just how much that kind expressed love really means.
That kind of relationship and friendship doesn’t just happen. I believe it takes its form through an understanding of the source of true love and true friendship. This kind of relationship is rarely found without a context of a church, and the teaching of a selfless living that is described in the Bible.
The apostle Paul wrote a couple of well-known letters to the church at Corinth, and in 1 Corinthians 12, he gives us all an amazing metaphor, likening a group of believers to a single human body. Think for a moment how effective this illustration is, for we can all relate to our own body, and its many parts – all of which makes up the whole of our own body.
God gave us eyes to see, ears with which we hear, noses that can tell us that the pizza in the oven is just about done, hands that are dexterous and flexible, skin that is loaded with nerve cells that give us the ability to feel our loved ones’ embraces, and legs with feet that allow us to walk.
Every different member of our body has a purpose to fulfill – for the good of our body.
Paul actually gave us some funny thoughts in this passage, saying things that are absurd to make a point, including the fact that our eyes don’t say to other members of our body, “I don’t need you,” or “Hey, you’re not as important as I am.”
No, our body, though we are made of many different parts and senses, works together, keeping us going in our direction, serving the good of our entire being.
Paul’s point is then made clear…just as our bodies work together as one, so should we as members of “His body,” the church, also work together, loving one another, supporting one another, helping one another. In so doing, we are stronger together, we have a great capacity to love each other, and to comfort each other as each does the role that God has for them in the body.
No man is an island to himself. We all need each other to thrive, prosper and grow as individuals. And the very best way to grow is to be an active member of His body, the body of Christ, serving where and how He intended. When we do that, we bring great glory to God.