So what could patching holes in dry wall and car shopping in the snow teach me about the body of Christ? Plenty! But first, what is the “body of Christ”?
When people refer to the “body of Christ” it is in reference to the group of people in a local congregation (or body) who believe in Jesus Christ and work together to do the Lord’s work. Here is what the Bible says about this:
1 Corinthians 12:12-26
12 The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ. 13 For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body-whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free-and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.14 Now the body is not made up of one part but of many. 15 If the foot should say, "Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body," it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. 16And if the ear should say, "Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body," it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. 17 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? 18 But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. 19 If they were all one part, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, but one body.21 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!" 22 On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 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, 24 while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has combined the members of the body and has given greater honor to the parts that lacked it, 25 so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. 26 If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.
So, back to my story, patching and shopping are all a part of showing me the intricacies in the way the body works together. About a week ago, we decided to rearrange some of our furniture after replacing the carpet with hardwood flooring. The last item we attempted to move was a rather large couch in the basement. We can recall bringing this particular couch down to the basement several years ago, somehow fitting it around a narrow and twisty set of stairs. (Maybe we were wrong?!) After multiple attempts, by multiple people, the couch won and ended up staying in the basement. In the process of trying to get the couch around the narrow corner of stairs, some holes were made in the drywall. (For those of you reading that don’t know us, yes, we embrace the notion that if it doesn’t fit, you should force it).
We are not dry-wallers. In fact the whole situation caused me a bit of stress. Then along came a member of our church who does have experience dry walling, and painting. He graciously offered to come help do the repair for free. He enjoys doing it, and likes having something to do since he is retired, and we are blessed in the process.
Meanwhile, another member of our church is trying to buy a used car on her own and is feeling a bit stressed as well. I (who used to sell cars and actually thrive on a bit of confrontation) agreed to go with her and help negotiate. She was very grateful for lessoning her stress, and I was excited to help because I love giving a salesman a hard time! We headed out in below freezing temperatures, in the snow, and had a successful trip.
I had a great time! Me, the disabled, middle-aged (did I just say that out loud?) woman, who doesn’t get to do many of the things I used to enjoy, was able to go and help someone and get a bit of an adrenaline rush by negotiating a good deal. I feel blessed to have been able to help. I feel blessed because I was helped by someone else. This has been a great week, and a wonderful example of the body of Christ working in perfect harmony; each of us using the gifts we were given for the benefit of others. The world calls it “paying it forward”; I call it the satisfaction of bringing glory to name of our Lord.
This may seem crazy or insignificant to some of you, but for me, it is an amazing thing to stand back and see God at work. He arranged each of us in such a way that we could all help each other. In the end, we were all blessed because of our serving others and also in being served. How beautiful it is to see each of us able to do what our gifting and talents are for the glory of God.
What is your gifting? How do you use it to be a blessing to others while being blessed yourself?