Daily posts to help you connect with God
and keep yourself travelling in the right orbit
ORBIT | WEEK TWELVE
ORBIT – DAY FIFTY SEVEN
Welcome to another Orbit – daily time with God from the youth team at St Mary’s Reigate. Thanks for your kind messages about this so far – but please do keep telling us what you do and don’t like, and how we can improve it.
BIBLE READING – 1 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.
Do you ever feel like no one would really notice if you left the room? To be honest we all feel like that from time to time; we all struggle with our self-esteem at one time or another – it’s part of being human. But one place where you should never feel like this, is in church. Church should always be a place where we feel like we belong; a place of family, where everyone is equally loved and valued. At least, that’s the idea…
In truth though, we can also feel a little bit inadequate or like we don’t fit, even when we’re at church. This can be especially true when we see people around us who have very clearly-pronounced gifts. People who can play and lead music, for example, Or gifted speakers, or those people who seem to love welcoming newcomers and making them feel at home. If we don’t neatly fit into one of those ‘gifted’ categories, we can sometimes feel like there isn’t really a place for us. This just isn’t true.
In today’s reading, Paul is continuing to unpack his great metaphor for the church: the body. Again, he wants the church to realise that while there is one body, there are many parts – and each one is just as important as all the rest. The leaders aren’t any more important than the people who are there for the first time; the people who give the biggest amount of money into the church fund are no more senior than the youngest children. Everyone plays their part, and everyone is important – truly!
Paul addresses our feelings of uncertainty about this topic head-on. He imagines the foot saying that because it isn’t a hand, it just isn’t as important to the body; he pictures the ear feeling inadequate compared to the eye. When we think of this in terms of an actual body, it sounds ridiculous – but this is exactly what it means for us to devalue our own role in the church. We all have a part to play, and we’re all equally valuable – it’s only when every one of us is functioning as a part of the church, that the entire thing is whole.
The reason why we know this? Because as Paul says here: “God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be.” God is the architect behind all things, including his church. We are a part of it, because he has invited us; he has created an important place for us. All we have to do is accept that truth, and play our part – whatever it might be.
You might want to join me in praying this prayer.
Lord God, I thank you again for your church, and for your invitation to me to be a part of it. Help me to find my place in the body of Christ, and help me not to feel inadequate by comparing myself to others. Instead, may I simply enjoy the part you have called me to play in your family. Amen
There’s now a chance for you to pray, or listen to God, or simply be still for a few moments.
Each day we will provide you with a simple challenge; something to do which helps you put this little thought into action. Here’s today’s challenge:
This challenge is all about encouraging others. Think of three people in your church who you think are really gifted in the way they serve the church and the wider community. Perhaps don’t choose obvious people – at least not for all three. Find a way to encourage them; through a phone call, a message or even an anonymous note. Part of everyone’s job in the body of Christ is to build up the other members, so make it your mission to do a bit of – pun alert – body-building today.
If you want to get in touch, you can always email firstname.lastname@example.org, or message us on Instagram – we’re @stmarys_satellites. Let us know what you think of this daily reflection – please – we’d love your feedback.
We’ll be back with another edition of Orbit tomorrow. Thanks for taking part today!