I was looking through some old pictures and I came across this photo of an activity we did at church. Everyone was invited to put their fingerprint onto the canvas as a sign that our individuality makes up a united Church. Each fingerprint is unique and the way that some people then decorated and drew around their fingerprint only reinforced our individuality and uniqueness.
The picture is such a profound and helpful illustration that reminds us that everyone is important and that everyone should be welcomed and valued. It reminds us that God didn’t create us to be alone, but that he created us to be a part of a community.
1 Corinthians 12.12-27 teaches us that the church is like a body where everyone has a part to play. In the Body of Christ, everyone is important and no one can say (or even assume) that they don’t need the others in the church.
Is the church congregation you are a part of like that?
Do we give thanks for the uniqueness and differences in others or are we too busy being frustrated by those differences? Do we value diversity or do we wish that everyone was like us? Do we just think about how the church needs to meet our needs or is our concern for everyone in the church family to be cared for?
How about ‘the church’?
As we look at the one church throughout the world there certainly is a great deal of diversity. I have to confess that some christians make me cringe and some I profoundly disagree with but is it really my place to think or even to assume that I don’t need them. You see, the grace of God that extends to me also extends to them and they are my brothers and sisters in Christ.
We need to learn to listen well to each other rather than assuming that we have all the answers and we need to even work at listening to those who we disagree with. I personally struggle with some of the more traditional forms of worship in churches but if I think that I have nothing to learn from those forms of worship then I am misguided. As we learn from others who do things differently, then end result will be that we become more rounded people and disciples of Jesus.
So, let’s remember and celebrate your individuality but we also should remember and celebrate that God wants us to be a part of his body (the church). God’s will is that we should need, depend on and learn from the other people in the Body of Christ.
That’s what God wants, but how will we live?