For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.

Romans 12: 4, 5

There is something strangely wonderful in the wide range of type, form, and personality that is found among people on this earth. We are truly a diverse collection; yet, all of the variability of humanity, according to God’s Word, constitutes something equating to the image of God. None of us are that image in ourselves; so, all of us together take us closer to the full picture. We humans make up many if not most of the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle that when completed would grant the viewer the full view of the majesty and the glory that is the Lord. Yet, each of us has been established by that same Creator God as a singular example of His handiwork, and we have all been formed in a manner such that we provide this world and especially Christ’s body, the church, with all of the human resource that it needs to fulfill its calling.

To me, this says that the individuality of the people around me is something that I need to consider from the perspective of the gift that God has given to the church. It also means that even the quirkiness and the peculiarity of some individuals is designed by God to have purpose and reason in His well-developed plan for the function of His community of faith. In this divinely inspired economy, each and every person has a purpose to fulfill, everyone has something to contribute to the whole, and all of us when working together constitute something close to a fully fleshed out organism. Thus, we can look at our neighbor and get to know that person well in the simple hope of knowing not only that person but of also knowing God more fully in the process. As we grow closer to those around us in the church, we should also develop a deeper and a fuller comprehension of God’s mission and calling for us and for the body that we participate within.

In Christ, these diverse and often seemingly disparate people who we dwell with and travel through life in close proximity to are, in fact, so closely related to us as to be a part of the same functioning entity, body, as we are ourselves. Just as Christ brings each of us close to God, so too Christ bridges the gulf that the brokenness of this world has carved between people. We need each other in order to live fully within Christ’s will for us and for His church. This is a need that exists at the deepest levels of our souls and in the most basic and fundamental of aspects of our functionality as Christ’s body in this world. As we care about and for each other and also as we open up our own needs to the ministry of others, we are growing in our knowledge and understanding of the way that God loves and cares for all of His creation. When we love each other and receive the love of those same others within the church, we are demonstrating the love that Christ has for everyone on earth to the rest of the world, and this outpouring of love and care is the calling and the function of Christ’s holy church.   

For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.

Romans 12: 4, 5

 

Unity, togetherness, and oneness are all qualities desired by humans. Yet, these are qualities of life that are hard to find. Perhaps this elusiveness is the result of the super human nature of the source of these qualities. In Christ, through the work of the Holy Spirit, anyone can be brought into one family. Through knowing Jesus, everyone has the right to join together as one in spirit. This is a form of unity that embraces our individuality, for uniqueness is considered to be an important aspect of the way that God, Himself, created each of us. In God’s view of our humanity, all of the gifts, talents, and skills that we possess are useful and vital. It doesn’t matter how we came to have them. They can be the result of long, hard work and study or they can be the most natural thing that we do in life. Regardless, the Lord will use the total package that we bring to life for His work and for His glory in this world.

 

The biggest obstacle that gets in the way of recognizing this truth is our own stubborn blindness to it. We tend to be too hard on others, and we are usually too hard on ourselves. Christ always sees the potential, and He always embraces the person and takes what each of us has at this time. Then, He uses whatever it is that we bring to the table and grows us into greater maturity in Him. As we mature in Christ we are better able to understand the gifts that God is giving to us. However, this understanding does not lead to the glorification of ourselves; rather, it points us to its source in Christ and to serving His kingdom.

 

Christ calls upon us to take what we have and stop spending so much time and energy on trying to sort it out or to find its perfect point of application. Then, we need to join in with others and put our skills, talents, and gifts to work. This is something that every one of us can engage; for, almost everyone is under utilizing the gifts that Christ has given to us. We also need to become less defensive and more open in the way that we view the abilities of others. In doing this we can embrace God’s viewpoint, which sees the potential, and not the obstacle. Unity, togetherness, and oneness are found through openness. Strength, protection, and accomplishment are found together in the body of Christ.