When you become a follower of Jesus, it's a package deal. It's beautifully demonstrated in baptism – where we physically express our transformation from death to life. From separation to communion with our heavenly Father. Our devotion to everything else is renounced, and given wholly and solely to Jesus. He is our life.
The package deal includes a new family. There is a people we are now connected to, who share in the life of Christ. It's not an optional extra. “There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” Eph 4:4-6
That's why Paul uses the illustration of the body to explain how our faith works out, both as individuals and as a group. If you cut off a part of your body, wow, it hurts! And what a dramatic loss to the body. Neither can that part function as it should apart from the rest. “If one part suffers, every part suffers with it” 1 Cor 12:26 That's what it's like for the body of Christ, the church.
The beautiful intricacy that God has designed, is that although we are called to unity, to one faith, to one Lord; we are all unique. God has intended for you to be different from the other parts of the church, that you might be a blessing to the whole family. Your experiences, your family of origin, your personality, your abilities, your Spirit-given gifts, are all combined in you in a special way, precisely for this period of history, this location, this church family.
Our challenge is to bring our self to the church family table, counting the cost of discipleship as we knit our lives together in love.
- Melinda Medvedsky-
Image Credit to http://quagmus.blogspot.com/2013/02/1-corinthians-1212-20.html