Tag Archives: experience

Body Parts

Female shadow with organs

Last week I had three separate appointments at the hospital.  Each part of me needing a different consultant with a different speciality – and they’re just the ones I’ve seen this week!  A reminder if any was needed of how our body is made up of different parts.  Except, none of those consultants was working in isolation, they each have to consider the whole of me and how all these symptoms work together.  And the fact that my notes have gone missing was not really helping any of them!

One Body with Many Parts

12 The body of Christ has many different parts, just as any other body does. 13 Some of us are Jews, and others are Gentiles. Some of us are slaves, and others are free. But God’s Spirit baptized each of us and made us part of the body of Christ. Now we each drink from that same Spirit.

14 Our bodies don’t have just one part. They have many parts. 15 Suppose a foot says, “I’m not a hand, and so I’m not part of the body.” Wouldn’t the foot still belong to the body? 16 Or suppose an ear says, “I’m not an eye, and so I’m not part of the body.” Wouldn’t the ear still belong to the body? 17 If our bodies were only an eye, we couldn’t hear a thing. And if they were only an ear, we couldn’t smell a thing. 18 But God has put all parts of our body together in the way that he decided is best.

19 A body isn’t really a body, unless there is more than one part. 20 It takes many parts to make a single body. 21 That’s why the eyes cannot say they don’t need the hands. That’s also why the head cannot say it doesn’t need the feet. 22 In fact, we cannot get along without the parts of the body that seem to be the weakest. 23 We take special care to dress up some parts of our bodies. We are modest about our personal parts, 24 but we don’t have to be modest about other parts.

God put our bodies together in such a way that even the parts that seem the least important are valuable. 25 He did this to make all parts of the body work together smoothly, with each part caring about the others. 26 If one part of our body hurts, we hurt all over. If one part of our body is honored, the whole body will be happy.

27 Together you are the body of Christ. Each one of you is part of his body. 28 First, God chose some people to be apostles and prophets and teachers for the church. But he also chose some to work miracles or heal the sick or help others or be leaders or speak different kinds of languages. 29 Not everyone is an apostle. Not everyone is a prophet. Not everyone is a teacher. Not everyone can work miracles. 30 Not everyone can heal the sick. Not everyone can speak different kinds of languages. Not everyone can tell what these languages mean. 31 I want you to desire the best gifts.So I will show you a much better way.

This passage follows on from the one last week, reminding us that we all have different gifts, graces and talents – and to use what we have rather than spend time regretting what we can’t do.  The idea is reinforced that we all need one another.  We need more than a foot to be a body, more than just a heart, more than just our bones.  Together it makes the whole wonderful machine.  And when one part hurts, it effects the functioning of the rest.

This is the image we are given of God’s community on earth.  No part is insignificant, or not needed.  Each and every person, and the gifts they bring, goes towards making the body as a whole function.  We have no right to make anyone feel they are useless, or can be managed without.  Conversely it is our responsibility to ensure that when one part is hurting, we all do what we can to care for them and bring wholeness.

It was said in a village we once lived, “Kick one and they all limp”, they were such a close-knit community.  The church too should be like that.  We should feel each others pain; we should function and work together.

I need you and the insights you bring from your experience.  They make me think and learn.  They widen the experience I have had and can have by myself.  Together we can bounce off each other and rub each others sharp corners.  We are put in community for a reason.

In the words of Ishmael:

We are one, we are family together,
‘Cause we’ve one Father caring for us all,
We are one, we are related to each other,
Lord help me to love my family much more.

We should all rejoice in one another and the parts, different and individual, we can all play together, to make up the wonderful variance of God’s people.

Lord,

help me

to care for my Christian family,

to live,

learn,

love

and care

for and with one another

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Are You Coming?

There’s something exciting happening.  Everyone is going. Will someone ask you to come along?

When we first heard that Peter Kay was  doing a new show in 2010, we were very keen to go.  At one time we lived in Bolton, and the children grew up on Peter Kay’s comedy.    When he mentioned Green Lane, we knew where he meant; we knew the bingo hall; Phoenix Nights was filmed round the corner (and one of our sons was once in a crowd scene!). It was all local.

So we decided we would make the trip back to Manchester to see it.  But Mr Pamsperambulation and I didn’t want to go by ourselves, it was part of our family heritage, so messages were sent to the children (by this time independent adults!),

We’re going, do you want to come?

The occasion, the experience was something to be shared.

(in the end the plan fell apart as the only dates available, we were on holiday… but the plan was a good one)

As Jesus sets off on the beginning of his ministry, he meets Philip, and says to him,

Come with me!

Jesus invites him along, he gives him the opportunity to be a part of all that is going to happen.

Not only does Philip decide that he will go along, but he goes and invites Nathanael to come with him.  Philip is convinced that Jesus is THE ONE – the one that Moses and the prophets had written about.  He wants Nathanael to share in it.

Nathanael’s response is heart breaking.

Can anything good come from Nazareth?

In that one cutting comment and instant dismissal, he almost missed the most amazing opportunity he would ever be offered.  How easily he was willing to rubbish something because of where it came from.

I wonder if sometimes we miss opportunities?  How we miss glimpses of God and seeing what he is doing, because we instantly dismiss them because of their origin.  Do we easily rubbish some people because of who they are or where they come from?  We may be dismissing God.

Fortunately for Nathanael, Philip doesn’t give up,

Come and see

he invites him again.  Don’t make an ill-informed or biased decision.  Come and see for yourself.  And to Nathanael’s credit, he does.  And is able to declare for himself

Teacher, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!

Nathanael was able to put aside he pre-conceived ideas, his mis-conceptions and his personal prejudices – and he discovered Jesus and all he had to offer him.

So, are we willing to come and see?  To be prepared to encounter God in the places we least expect to?

Jesus is here.  He is the one.  Will you come and see?

Forgive me Lord

for the times I fail to see you,

because I have my own ideas

about where you will be,

what you will be doing,

and who will lead me to you.

Give me a willingness to come and see –

to discover you anew,

to see what you are doing.

May I not respond from a place of prejudice,

or superiority,

or thinking I know best;

but be open to you

in all ways.

Lord,

I’m coming with you