Wednesday 12 January 2022


                                   1 Corinthians 12

This is a very significant passage.  Paul is writing to the Corinthian Church, and has come to a point where he is dealing with spiritual gifts.  He likens the Church to a human body, and describes it as the body of Christ.  The Church is the means by which Jesus reaches out to the world, and it is very important that we keep this in mind.

 We have to be conscious of the fact that as Jesus is no longer physically in the world, so members of the Church are required to do His work here on earth; we are to be His voice and hands.  This is such an important task, and we should not try to avoid it.  Literally, we have to be His body, and the supreme glory for the Christian is that he/she is part of that body.

 The Church is not just a group of religious people gathered together to enjoy mutually desired functions.  We should be sharing the same kind of life, belonging to the one Lord, filled with His Spirit and be working together to change the world.  Such is what makes a true and healthy Church.  Just coming to Church in itself, does not necessarily make you a Christian, you have to believe in and trust Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour.

 Paul emphasises the analogy of the human body to that of the body of Christ, by explaining how the body functions.  He stresses the importance of each part of the body working together, and indicates that every member of the Church is of importance.   An ear performs one vital function, but so does an eye; the body needs both; similarly with hands and feet.  Never consider yourself as an unimportant part of the Church. You may not be called to preach or lead a Bible study group, but there are so many other equally important tasks in their own way by which you can take an active part.  If everyone did the same thing, the Church would be ineffective.

 But a body only functions properly if it is healthy, and every part is working properly.  We must accept we need one another, and there is no need for competition or jealousy.  Occasions arise when, someone feels they are not being given the recognition they feel their secular work demands, and others are doing what they should be doing.  If any organ in our body fails, the whole body is affected and any disruption in the Church affects the whole situation.

 You may ask, in what way can you play your part? There are so many ways by which your gift can be exercised, possibly in a manner you have never considered.  In a Church I was once at, we gave everyone £5 and invited them to use their talent to increase it with the proceeds going to the Church.  People found they had hidden gifts.  So often gifts are seen as only relating to ministry, which is so wrong and narrow an outlook.  The Church is not like a bus with the Vicar being the driver, and all others passengers.

 Often we find professional men and women who have their professional talent to use in the service of the Church, and they serve well and so usefully, especially gifts of accountancy and law.  But also valuable is the man or woman who can do technical, work effecting repairs; or the lady gifted with flower and decorative arrangements; ladies who spend hours baking for Church fairs.  I had two sisters in their 80s who worked tirelessly, and I cannot imagine how we could have done without them.

 Sometime of course, it may seem as your work is not appreciated when you do not get the thanks and recognition your work has merited.  Do not be depressed or disheartened, if you have done it for God, He will be pleased and recognise you.  When all our gifts are put together we can become a strong body, able to serve the Lord as He would want. 

 May God bless His Word to us, and His holy name be praised.

No comments:

Post a Comment