“But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the part with less honor so that there won’t be division in the body and so the parts might have mutual concern for each other.” (I Corinthians 12:24b CEB)
Most of us probably remember selecting teams for a pick-up softball game. I was always picked last and with great reluctance. A lot of people report this same story, either in greater detail with angst and embarrassment or with humor mixed in with the pathos.
Standing at the end of the line, we would ask ourselves, “What about me? Aren’t I important? Aren’t I good enough?”
Even though I was never good enough to knock a softball out of the park (or even hit a softball, for that matter) I learned later in life that I had unique gifts that would be valued by others.
So far I probably haven’t said anything that you couldn’t figure out for yourself. Honestly, this scripture passage speaks for itself. We are a part of the body of Christ. We all have something to offer, whether we consider it important or not. Paul makes that abundantly clear.
The Church Universal stands as the model of the body of Christ. Each denomination or particular church or individual has something to add that creates a synergy: something bigger than the sum of its parts. Being human, though, we fall short. We forget about the body and look to ourselves.
What about me? Why do they always call on HER for everything?
What about me? Why am I always stuck with this task? You’d think someone else could do it, but me.
And we forget about the bigger picture: the congregation working and worshiping and fellow-shipping together. The congregation who feels the pain of the one member and celebrates the joys of another member.
But, let’s think deeper. What about the woman who supports gay rights and is shunned and castigated by someone who is repulsed by gay marriage. There’s the one who feels deeply the plight of those in poverty, and can’t help but hate the elite 1% of the wealthy. Too often we meet people who love God and hate their neighbor because they’re “different.”
Being a part of the body of Christ challenges us to face up to our humanness. Those of us who know what it’s like to get picked last know how it feels for others. And when we meet someone who worships the wrong God or attends the wrong church or believes the wrong things, maybe we can step out and try to find a reason to love them anyway.
After all, they are a creation of God.
Perhaps that’s reason enough.