From the Pastor’s Study: The Importance of Everyone
1 Cor. 12
12 Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. 14 Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.
January 31, 2011
I’ve been stuck lately by the breadth of needs and gifts of this community. We all bring so many different things to the table. Over the past few weeks I’ve witnessed or heard about such an amazing variety of ways that you all are caring for the needs of each other and the needs of the church. When people hurt, we need comfort and to be comforters. When people hunger, we need food and we need cooks and grocery shoppers. When people gather for worship on Sunday morning, so many people give of their time to make sure everything is ready—music, lessons, food, bulletins, a cleared parking lot, sound, etc. One of the realities of my life is that when people out in public find out I’m a pastor they often mention where they go to church, that they’re planning to go back to church, or give me a reason why they haven’t been lately. I try to convey to them that being part of a church family is really important but avoid the kinds of guilt motivation. I say this to be clear, I’m not trying to lay on blame for missing last week or provide guilt motivation to keep you coming, but WE are all missed when we’re absent from the body.
One of the central aspects of following Christ is living together as a community. Community can be hard but it can also carry us through situations and moments in life that we otherwise wouldn’t be able to handle. The pictures of Jesus we have in the New Testament show him spending time with his disciples. There were definitely times when Jesus was alone for various reasons, but the majority of what we learn about Christ’s witness is lived with others. As we continue in a series on 1 Corinthians, one of the crucial issues is how to live together.
I am eager to witness and be a part of what we can do together this year. Already in 2011 I’ve seen so many positive signs of our congregational family looking after each other. I hope you’ll look for opportunities to reach out to each other—both in seeking and offering help, wisdom, discernment, and mentoring. Community is much more than the clichés. It is our calling as Christ’s body and his Church. God works through the unique mix of people here at Crossroads. If you have an idea of how you can further participate in the body, if you are looking for some opportunities to serve, or if you have a need that the body can help you with—please let me know.
In Christ’s Peace,