I Corinthians 12
12 Christ is just like the human body—a body is a unit and has many parts; and all the parts of the body are one body, even though there are many. 13 We were all baptized by one Spirit into one body, whether Jew or Greek, or slave or free, and we all were given one Spirit to drink. 14 Certainly the body isn’t one part but many. 15 If the foot says, “I’m not part of the body because I’m not a hand,” does that mean it’s not part of the body? 16 If the ear says, “I’m not part of the body because I’m not an eye,” does that mean it’s not part of the body? 17 If the whole body were an eye, what would happen to the hearing? And if the whole body were an ear, what would happen to the sense of smell? 18 But as it is, God has placed each one of the parts in the body just like he wanted. 19 If all were one and the same body part, what would happen to the body? 20 But as it is, there are many parts but one body. 21 So the eye can’t say to the hand, “I don’t need you,” or in turn, the head can’t say to the feet, “I don’t need you.” 22 Instead, the parts of the body that people think are the weakest are the most necessary.
This week the importance of this passage from scripture came into my life twice. I think it may be one of the wisest metaphors ever written about the body and about living in relationship with others.
This week I broke the first, smallest knuckle on my pinky finger playing volleyball in the local Tuesday night gay volleyball league. I'm set for surgery tomorrow morning to pin the joint back into place. The last phrase of the scripture about the weakest parts of the body being most necessary is a lesson I am learning every moment this week as I constantly notice ways that we use pinky fingers and never think about it!
But the wisdom of this passage goes far deeper than pinkies. During the week this week one of our members got really upset with another member of our congregation. Every time I tried to help mediate the situation I kept hearing this passage in the background. If we are one body--which we are--then even when we disagree with one another, we cannot sever the relationship. If we are one body, that would be like an eye saying to a hand I do not need you. Let me tell you, I love and need each one of you. We are each a precious creation of God, led here by the Holy Spirit.
While my eye might not have thought much about my pinky before this week, it is pretty much all my body is focused on now. Even if you feel like you are sometimes overlooked, remember that every part of God's body (the church) is here for a reason. I hope to see YOU on Sunday.