Week 14 Saturday

Everybody Counts

Today’s scripture selection: First Corinthians 11-12

Key verses: First Corinthians 12:15-20

“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.”

One of the things I love about the church is that everyone belongs.  At least, that’s how it’s supposed to work.

Yes, there are (sadly) some churches that are unhealthy – and certain members are ignored or pushed to the sidelines for some reason.  In other cases, individuals sometimes isolate from others – another unhealthy trait.  They may be there “in body” but not “in spirit.”  They are what I call “spectator” Christians – treating their membership in a church as a spectator sport or theatre event and not much else.

But when a congregation follows the Apostle Paul’s advice on the matter – it’s a very different picture.

Paul uses the metaphor of the human body for the unity of the church.  A foot can’t tell a hand it’s not needed; an ear can’t kick the nose out of the fellowship.  Everybody counts – everyone is needed – everyone is called – everyone has a purpose.

That’s how it should be.

So if you want to be a follower of Christ – I hope you are part of a good, healthy church where there is lots of give and take; lots of appreciation for one another; and lots of opportunity to serve – no matter what your gifts.

Prayer: Lord, help me to always realize what contribution my brothers and sisters in Christ make to your body – and what contribution I make as well.  AMEN.

By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. “Elpis” is the Greek word for “expectant hope.” He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors, and a member of Spiritual Directors International. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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