The Whole Body

I’ve recently been working on developing a program for community-based solutions to health issues. It’s meant to be taught over seven days and will include a lot of the trainings that I’ve learned over the last few years as a Global Consultant as well as my years working overseas. It is an ENORMOUS task trying to put all of this together but I’m really excited to finally feel like I’m gaining momentum on the project.

One of the first things that was decided when putting the material together was that we needed to start each day of training with devotions. We began looking at different passages that we could use throughout the week which would really pull together community-focused solutions. Early on, 1 Corinthians 12:12-27 came to mind as a perfect passage for the material.

“12The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ. 13 Some of us are Jews, some are Gentiles, some are slaves, and some are free. But we have all been baptized into one body by one Spirit, and we all share the same Spirit.

14 Yes, the body has many different parts, not just one part. 15 If the foot says, “I am not a part of the body because I am not a hand,” that does not make it any less a part of the body. 16 And if the ear says, “I am not part of the body because I am not an eye,” would that make it any less a part of the body? 17 If the whole body were an eye, how would you hear? Or if your whole body were an ear, how would you smell anything?

18 But our bodies have many parts, and God has put each part just where he wants it. 19 How strange a body would be if it had only one part! 20 Yes, there are many parts, but only one body. 21 The eye can never say to the hand, “I don’t need you.” The head can’t say to the feet, “I don’t need you.”

22 In fact, some parts of the body that seem weakest and least important are actually the most necessary. 23 And the parts we regard as less honorable are those we clothe with the greatest care. So we carefully protect those parts that should not be seen, 24 while the more honorable parts do not require this special care. So God has put the body together such that extra honor and care are given to those parts that have less dignity. 25 This makes for harmony among the members, so that all the members care for each other. 26 If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, and if one part is honored, all the parts are glad.

27 All of you together are Christ’s body, and each of you is a part of it.”

What struck me most about these verses is that in our world today, we often try to hide the parts of our “body” or community that we don’t want to show to the rest of the world. We often pretend that they don’t exist until they have problems. Only when the problem is so bad that we are forced to deal with it do we acknowledge the importance of the seemingly inconsequential part of the “whole.”

As a family of faith at Parkway, it is important that we look around and make sure that we are not forgetting some small part of our family or ignoring an essential, but quiet member. I think we are really very good about caring for each other at Parkway but sometimes it is easy to overlook someone when they don’t say much or when they keep to themselves. The same may be true for someone in your neighborhood, school or work. Let’s make an extra effort to notice those people who might be more quiet and easier to miss as they may be the most important person for our community today!