Monday 30 April 2018

Bible Book:

“We, who are many, are one body in Christ” (v. 5)

Romans 12:4-16 Monday 30 April 2018

Psalm: Psalm 50:1-15


Paul refers to the Church as being a body made up of various parts, each having a different function but each being necessary. He reminds us that there are many parts to play in the Christian community and that it is alright that some people are gifted for particular tasks. Whilst we may each have our individual and specific calling, we are also bound by a united calling as Christian people and members of the Body of Christ. There is an overall purpose in the body, even though each part of the body has its own function. Recognise what happens when one part of our body starts to fail in its function or to do something contrary to what is intended, for it is then that the whole body becomes sick. The unity of the parts, the unity of the body, depends upon the members being ‘in Christ’, being connected as branches to the vine. Although we may all have different roles, and Paul lists a good number of them, we are all accountable for the way the Church engages with the world. The attributes listed are the ways of living that Jesus taught his disciples and with which he challenges us.

It is hard though, isn’t it, for us to live out this part of the Gospel teaching? At our annual Covenant Service we pray that God would rank us with whom God wills and acknowledge that some tasks match our inclinations and some do not. We wholeheartedly yield ourselves to God’s will. It’s hard though, isn’t it, if what we are asked to do really does not meet our egotistical expectations and self-centred inclinations? We don’t mind rejoicing with those who are living through good times and praying for those who are suffering adversity (verse 15). But must we really pray for those who persecute us (verse 14), and do we really have to welcome the stranger who is really not like us at all (Romans 12:20)? Of course, the answer is that we must, for that is the way of the gospel!

To Ponder

  • How challenging is it to welcome the stranger when they are very different from us? Have you ever been that stranger?
  • Have you ever felt that your talent was not appreciated, and your personal calling ignored? How did it make you feel and what did you do about it?
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