This week, Sam leads us in a reflection on the fullness of Christ, that is the fullness we all have together in the body of Christ, and in doing so, we reflect on 1 Cor 12:21-31.
We are the body. We all are gifted. We have all been called and empowered, and as the body of Christ, no one part of the body dominates another. We may have many giftings, but they come from One Spirit. Our giftings all find their source in that One Spirit, as does our body, and our giftings only find their purpose within that one, non-hierarchical body. Though some parts of the body may seem less important than other parts, Paul (and Sam) challenges us to see those parts of the body as more important, more, honorable than the flashy up front parts of the body.
We do not put off our own giftings and responsibility to a single leader or charismatic personality, because we together, as Christ’s body, gifted together are the charismatic body. Sometimes one part of the body might think highly of itself, “I am the head,” but a head has no importance apart from the body. Our gifting and our body only makes sense when united together in the One Spirit; and then every part is worthy of honor. And, we find that Paul reserves the head only for Christ and refuses to give “more desirable” parts of the body any special importance or special sway. As Sam begins:
We are the body, but sometimes it is more tempting to look for a body–a person, an individual, a specialist, a shaman, a dynamic preacher, a worship leader because we want that special person to give us access to God.
But we together are called to be the body. We are all gifted and empowered. Sometimes it is easier to simply be lead, but perhaps we can (and must) lead our body together.
Sam lays this all out and more this week.
He also left us with some questions to ponder and dialogue about as we think through this particular value of ours.
- Do we in practice believe that every member of our community has a unique gift activated by the Spirit that they bring to the community? How does this shape our life together? If we don’t practice this what would it look like if we began?
- How do we embrace the diversity of gifts? Do we ascribe greater value to some gifts either by what we say or in our practice?
For convenience sake, there is also a podcast available. You can find that here.