The history of the church has not always been very edifying, has it? And I am sure that God weeps when He sees how Christians have constantly failed to work through their divisions whilst holding on to love and compassion and kindness.
Paul told the Christians in the church at Corinth – who are not handling their divisions very well – that the way they speak to one another, the way they interact with one another, the way they cope with differences, is actually a reflection to the wider world of how Christ responds to difference and how Christ wants to interact with the world.
The Church is the Body of Christ – and how we are with one another speaks to the reputation of Christ in the world.
The Church is the Body of Christ – it is not just another interest group, it is not just another club we can join.
The Church is the Body of Christ in the world – and we must keep that foremost in our minds every day of our lives because you and I are representing Christ to the world in how we live and how we speak and in how we love…
Paul reminds us in 1 Corinthians 12:12-20 that we shoulder a great responsibility as we participate in the community life of our church. We are reflecting God to the world in our words and our deeds: what people see of us, they see of God – and we need to live up to that responsibility. That means, of course, that each one of must be mindful of how we conduct ourselves at work during the week, within our family lives, and when we are out socialising – because what people see of us, they see of God.
But as a community together, we must shoulder the responsibility of being the Body of Christ together, which is a holy calling. We must hold fast to our unity. We must embrace and celebrate our diversity. We must move as one body, supporting and encouraging one another. And, as we pursue this holy calling together, we must keep our eyes firmly fixed on Jesus and remember that it is only through Him that we have a sense of community; a sense of purpose, and a destiny to fulfil.
God has chosen us and gifted us to represent Him to the world, to our community. We are stewards together of that calling, stewards of the gifts He has given to us, and we must resolve increasingly to use them wisely, and with compassion and with kindness and with love. (REV DR STEVE GRIFFITHS)