Several analogies are used in scripture to describe the church. The church is called a bride, a building, a family and a flock. Paul used many of these throughout his writings, yet the primary description he used is that the church is a body.
1 Corinthians 12:12 For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ.
A human body has many parts. It has hands, feet, eyes and ears. Though each of these parts is very different, they all are very important. Hands enable us to do things that our feet can’t and vice versa. The church also has many members and although many of the members are very different, all of the members are very important. Each of us have gifts, talents and abilities that make us unique from everyone else. Not everyone can sing. Not everyone can teach. Not everyone can cook. And not everyone can build. Not everyone is comfortable with working with children and not everyone can relate to teens. Not everyone in the church can do all the things others can, but we’re not supposed to. We’re supposed to take the gifts, talents and abilities God has given us and help each other. If we will, the church will be strong and complete.
1 Corinthians 1:7 Now you have every spiritual gift you need as you eagerly wait for the return of our Lord Jesus Christ. (NLT)
Note – the church has every spiritual gift it needs in order to do the will of God. And it is supposed to be using these gifts as it waits for the Lord to return. Yet, if some of the members of the church choose to not use their gifts, the church is handicapped. Much like a human body whose legs are paralyzed. whenever members of the church neglect to use the gifts and abilities God has given them, the body of Christ is handicapped. In other words, hands have to begin trying to do what feet can do better.
Discovering who God has made us to be is not always easy. Often we think that the only ones who matter are the ones who stand up front. Yet for every lesson the church needs to hear, it needs a thousand acts of kindness and service. Each of us need others to come along-side of us and to encourage us. Hopefully over the next few weeks, each of us are going to gain a better understanding of what it means to be a part of the body of Christ.
In closing, consider these words from the prophet Isaiah –
Isaiah 6:8 Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: “Whom shall I send, And who will go for Us?” Then I said, “Here am I! Send me.”