March 10, 2018

By Rev. Nelly Hernandez, Brawley UMC & Holtville UMC, South District

1 Corinthians 12:27 (RSV)

Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.

The message of the Apostle Paul to the church in this passage is remarkable: the unity in diversity. As one body of Christ our purpose is to continually be active. All members have different gifts given by the Spirit. Diversity is essential to the function of the church and its task in the world.

We are all connected. Let’s say someone has just severely injured their knee. That person’s whole body would be focused on the pain it’s receiving in that area. The person cannot simply ignore the injured area and move on. The same concept applies to the body of Christ. When a member is hurting or is in need of help, we cannot say: “Go off and hurt alone.” If one member is hurt, all of the body of Christ is suffering. If one member is healthy and active, all of the body receives the benefits.

We belong together and we suffer together.

What a beautiful comparison the Apostle is doing with this theme in which he is specifically pointing out the importance of the divine character of the church! As one body we can wish all gifts to be demonstrated among us. But at the end of this chapter, the Apostle Paul concludes it with these significant words saying, “And I will show you a still more excellent way.” (v. 31b RSV)

He is introducing us to the “amazing love” chapter which refers to the fruit of the Spirit. It is crucial for us as a church to stay active. To remain in unity with all of the spiritual gifts which enable us to complete our tasks as the Body of Christ. This will always be linked with the fruit of the Spirit, which is love.

The love of God is in everything we do. We are here to testify about the compassion and mercy of Christ to all.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, we thank you for each and every one of us who are a part of the Body of Christ. Whether we are young or old, rich or poor, stranger or native who have been given gifts by the Holy Spirit. We all have the same acceptance in Jesus Christ, and we thank you for that. We pray that we may accomplish our function in life to be an instrument of your love in the world we live in. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.