Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Being the Church

1 Corinthians 12:12

The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ.

112015 Ray McDonaldChristmas Eve morning 2015 has arrived.  For some reason – a morning I could sleep in was broken at 4:30 am and I couldn’t fall back to sleep.  A nap is in my future today – since I will be up till well after 1 am on Christmas morning.

Today I’d like us to contemplate the following question – as we anticipate the coming of the Christ. What does it mean to you – to be the church?  If you were to define the church – what scripture would you use to best define her?  What is the picture the Bible gives us of the church?

Find a Scripture pertaining to the church in the Bible and share it and your thoughts concerning the church from that passage. Stick to one passage per post please.  Our understanding of the church should not be based on our experience but rather what the Word of God says about the church.  We should be striving to measure up to how God describes the church rather than how we have lived and formed the church.

The passage I choose for this discussion is 1 Corinthians 12:12-28.  It is a powerful passage concerning the church.

1 Corinthians 12:12-28 – 12 The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ. 13 For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body — whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free — and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. 14 Now the body is not made up of one part but of many. 15 If 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. 16 And 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. 17 If 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? 18 But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. 19 If they were all one part, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, but one body. 21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” 22 On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, 24 while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has combined the members of the body and has given greater honor to the parts that lacked it, 25 so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. 26 If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. 27 Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. 28 And in the church God has appointed… NIV

The picture for me is that the church is the Body of Christ and we all have our gifting. The church is not complete without each of us. We might be able to function with only one leg or with no eyes, but we cannot be all that we could be without all of our parts.  Each person is important and each person plays a role.

FUMC CE 2015The picture that comes to mind from my past is a student in a college class that had no arms – no hands. He learned to open his book-bag with his feet and to take notes with them as well. He functioned and did the best he could but could he have done more with both arms and hands?

A church can learn to function without all the parts of the Body – but is it the best church it could be – when it functions with all of its parts?

What part are you?  This Christmas Eve 2015 – what part of the church are you?  We cannot be the church God wants us to be without you or without me.  We have been gifted to make the church whole.  Pledge with me for 2016 and moving forward to be all that God has planned for us – the church.

I hope to see many of you tonight at First Church as we celebrate and remember together.  May God bless you and your family this Christmas season.  My hope is that you will be able to spend time with Jesus – the babe in the manger – the man on the cross – the risen Lord!

Just something to think about today as you go on your way.

P.S. – Tomorrow’s devotional post will launch at 5 am!

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December 24, 2015 - Posted by | Advent Thought, Build, Christmas, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , ,

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