I like to write about how amazing our bodies are - the part God made, not what we have done to them! Psalm 39:14, “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” It amazes me how our bodies are made. No part is independent, all of our parts must work together so our body can work well as a whole. Paul describes the church as Christ’s body. Followers of Jesus are interrelated with other persons in the body of Christ. Even though each person is unique, members must work together in unity to help enlarge God’s Kingdom.
I first heard of Mrs. Carol when I first started working at Pine Valley United Methodists Church and asked about the medical equipment room. Mrs. Jane told me that her neighbor had been so appreciative to PVUMC when her husband had needed some medical equipment. After that, Mrs. Carol was thrilled to donate things to the yard sales. One night I was working in the kitchen with Mrs. Jane when her neighbor called. Mrs. Jane told me that Pastor Barry had gone and prayed with her neighbor, Mrs. Carol, whose husband was dying. Mrs. Carol was so touched by Pastor Barry doing this.
When I attended the new member’s lunch I met Mrs. Carol, who had just lost her husband. She was wanting to join PVUMC. I got to have lunch with Mrs. Carol three weeks after she joined. I had prayed for her and her husband when he was dying but that was the only connection I had had with her. There is something special that happens when we break bread together. It is more than just eating, it is sharing a sense of family.
Mrs. Carol shared with me that she had been brought up Catholic and she and her husband “were good Catholics!” But through the years they inched away from the Catholic church but not from God. After using the medical equipment, donating items for the yard sales and having Pastor Barry pray with her husband, she thought about trying PVUMC. She went on to say that not only did Pastor Barry go over to pray when her husband was passing but he stayed. And he kept coming. She asked Pastor Barry to officiate her husband’s funeral. She knew then that she would be joining PVUMC.
So it was not one person or one thing that called Mrs. Carol. I would say this is a good example of the body of Christ. 1 Corinthians 12:27, “Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.” Mrs. Carol could see Jesus in our equipment ministry, her neighbor, her neighbor’s church, the pastor, the yard sales, etc. Paul states that just as the eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” neither can anyone in the body of Christ say that to a fellow church member.
God has equipped each member with gifts and talents for the building up of the body of Christ. James 1:17, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” I believe God used all of these ministries, Mrs. Jane and Pastor Barry to enrich His Kingdom. Look what God can do when we do our part! Mrs. Carol is already helping Mrs. Jane in the kitchen with Celebrate Recovery. She told me she thinks that is God’s sense of humor sense she has never needed a kitchen and does not care to cook. But she also told me that she will go wherever He is leading her!
I will leave you with Romans 12:4-8, “For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.”
What part of the body of Christ are you?