“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.” (1 Corinthians 12:12, NIV)
One of the Apostle Paul’s favorite metaphors for the church is the “body of Christ.” He continues in 1 Cor. 12 noting that each part of the body plays an important role. Feet play an important role for the body. Hands do, too, only different. Eyes, ears, nose. Each is important. Each has a different function. Is one more important than another? Of course not. Though, different, when working together, they do great things.
Imagine this scenario: It is morning. You wake up to the smell of coffee (nose). You open your eyes. You get out of bed, put on your slippers, and walk to this coffee (feet). You grab a mug and pour it (fingers, hands). You feel the warmth. You drink it (mouth). You experience God’s presence (coffee)! The different parts make the body: “If they were all one part, where would the body be? (1 Corinthians 12:19, NIV)?” Is it enough to smell the coffee if you can’t get to it?
Why is being a member of the local church important? “Can’t I know God without going to church each Sunday? Why can’t I just watch church on T.V. or ‘join’ a church on the web each week?”
Of course you can know God without going to church! God won’t check your church membership or attendance records at the Pearly Gates. Being a member of a church won’t “save your soul.” At the same time, going to church doesn’t make you a “Christian.” I can go to a hen house – that doesn’t make me a chicken. And it is true, you can avoid local church membership and be a part of the universal church – a finger, perhaps.
But without a local body, you’re a severed finger. Part of the body, but detached. A severed finger is a body part…but a severed finger is not real useful.
Just as we need all the parts of the body to get to life-giving coffee…we need all the body parts to be a life-giving church. Severed fingers help no one.
This Sunday at New Life Church, we’ll be talking about the local church – OUR local church. If you’re interested in joining, this is your chance. If you want to learn more about us, this is your chance. We’re beginning a short series that will tell you everything you need to know about New Life. But more importantly, in the coming weeks this series will help you find out about you. What body part are you? Where do you fit in? How can you serve others like Jesus wants you to?
I REALLY hope you will join us this Sunday. It is IMPORTANT! All severed fingers welcomed.
I love being your pastor,