If God sees us—humankind—as a body and as a family, then why wouldn’t we embrace that same principle when spending time with one another or finding ways in which to address social issues?
In 1 Corinthians 12:12-20, Paul was writing to encourage believers to see themselves as part of a larger whole, with each member functioning in a specific and important role. Think about how different the world would be if people, churches, and groups really saw themselves as being part of God’s community and global village, functioning and carrying the burden together and standing together. Paul had a valid point when he implored us to see that we are God’s representatives on earth in the form of a community. The key is to accept that all of the constituent parts of a body are required to work together for the body as a whole to function properly.
Think about your own body. The simplest action—such as taking a step or even reading this sentence—relies on many body parts working together so that the action may be carried out. In the same way, even seemingly simple problems often require several people who have different skills to work together to solve them.
Most of the pressing issues that exist in our world require the gifts, abilities, and talents of many different people. They necessitate a diverse range of perspectives and the inclusion of voices that often go unheard. They need a community built with others who also want to see the world changed for the better. They require the power of we.
What does the apostle Paul mean in 1 Corinthians 12:12-27 when he speaks of one body part saying to another, “I have no need of you” (NRSV)?
Are you “needed” in your community? Begin to consider how you might support others.
In your opinion, what stands in the way of real, positive change in the world?