So we’ve been attending one church for the last few weeks. The songs are alright, the preaching is pretty good, but I’m not so sure about the chorus-esque nature of the band. Still, I can overlook that fault more easily than some of the faults of the churches I’ve been to in the past. I noticed that there was a small table set to the right of the altar with a bowl, a bag of flour, and a carton of eggs. Towards the end of the sermon, the pastor used these items for a demonstation talking about a specific issue he had seen with his church.
Yellow cake with chocolate icing is his favorite dessert. (I think nobody has introduced him to the delights of german chocolate cake, we’ll have to remember to do that at some point.) If he were to make one right now, he would have a problem. He would have way too much of certain ingredients and not enough of the others. In a real sense, the church had put all of its eggs in one basket. He pointed out how most of the small groups were quite similar. While his main point was that there was a need for discipleship, another set of verses were brought to my own mind:
“14Now the body is not made up of one part but of many. 15If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. 16And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. 17If 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? 18But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. 19If they were all one part, where would the body be? 20As it is, there are many parts, but one body.” – 1 Corinthians 12:14-20
Even though Paul is writing how spiritual gifts are distributed to the church body as a whole, I can’t help but wonder how it does not apply to a single church. If we all were feet, then there is nobody to give a hand to others. If we were all hands, how would we go anywhere? If we were all ears, how could we speak a word in response? If we were all eyes, how could we hear a request for help? So, I should think, God chose people to do specific actions and be certain parts the body. If we can’t make a cake with too much eggs and flour and not enough sugar or vanilla, then we certainly can’t be the body of christ if we have too many eyes and feet and not enough hands or ears. Once we make up the whole body of christ we can use the gifts he has given us to reach out to the communties in which we live.
Of course, this talk of cake and bodies (cellular peptide cake with mint frosting anybody?) is only an illustration of the issue at large. We who are all apart of the body have a job to do, and that is not just showing up on Sundays. It’s showing up everyday to worship him with the way we fix cars, build houses, and serve fast food. For we might unknowingly provide a service that honors him – fixing a car that will be used to take kids to a conference where some of them will be saved, building a house that might one day be the start of a church that reaches out to even the most closed-minded nations, or feeding a hungry body and soul who thirsts for the truth. What we do in His name, we do for Him and possibly even to Him. So, what are you?