Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.
1 Corinthians 12:27
The house is quiet. A Shrek movie is on TV but Kathy’s not watching because she’s asleep, worn out from a long day. Except for a few items with a “FREE” sign on them, the driveway and front yard of our house are empty and clean. But that’s not what it looked like earlier today. As recently as this afternoon it looked like a large moving van had crashed in our front yard. There were lounge chairs, tables, desks, clothes, a battery powered wheel chair, outdoor furniture, a nearly brand new above ground swimming pool (some assembly required), and a host of other household items strewn about in our front yard. All of these came from people with generous hearts who donated them for a yard sale to help raise money for the medical care of my seven month old grandson Andrew.
Andrew has Bilateral Isolated Frontosphenoidal Craniosynostosis, which is a fancy medical term that means the part of Andrew’s skull behind his eyes and around his left temple isn’t growing as fast as it should. Without surgical intervention the left frontal lobe of his brain won’t have enough room to grow properly. The left frontal lobe is the part of the brain that provides our speech and language function. So no intervention would most likely result in a compromised ability to talk, read, and write.
That’s heart-rending. But there’s good news. Andrew’s family abides in Jesus Christ. And one of the benefits of belonging to Jesus is His body. You see everyone in Christ who’s walking on planet earth makes up the body of Jesus. That’s you, and that’s me. The Lord teaches us in 1 Corinthians chapter 12 that we are the body of Christ. We are His arms and His legs, His eyes and His ears, His feet and His hands. The body of Christ is my neighbor down the street who attends church on the other side of town. The body of Christ is my own church family and is Andrew’s church family. The Lord in his grace and mercy has inspired many to help Andrew and his parents, Gabe and Charise, with the challenges before them. A few weeks ago the church elders requested that they be permitted to anoint Andrew with oil and to pray for his healing, so after Bible study on a Wednesday night we met with the elders and they did just that. They also gave Gabe and Charise a generous financial gift. They’ve also been the largest contributor of yard sale items by far. And many others from Christ’s body also contributed generously. Some have even provided a place for Gabe, Charise, and Andrew to stay during examinations at several children’s hospitals around the Western United States.
You know, this isn’t an isolated incident. Churches and Christians all over the world do this kind of thing all the time. But it’s nearly always done quietly, with humility, so we usually don’t hear about it. But it happens all the time.
In the midst of this difficulty, my family is so blessed that I just had to share it.
God is good.
It’s so good to be a part of the body of Christ.
Lord, thank you — for everything.
1 Corinthians 12:12-30
Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.
Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body.
The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.
Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. And God has placed in the church first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, of helping, of guidance, and of different kinds of tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret? Now eagerly desire the greater gifts.