Daily posts to help you connect with God
and keep yourself travelling in the right orbit
ORBIT | WEEK TWELVE
ORBIT – DAY FIFTY SIX
Hello and welcome to another Orbit – the devotional from the youth team at St Mary’s Reigate. Each weekday we look together at a little bit of the Bible, and ask how we might be able to apply it to today. Please do tell your friends and family about these daily readings if you think they’d find them helpful. At the moment we’re working our way through Paul’s first letter to the Corinthian church – written to a group of people just like us, 2,000 years ago, and profoundly relevant to us today.
BIBLE READING – 1 Corinthians 12: 12-14
Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. For we were all baptised by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.
I don’t know if you’ve seen the film “Wreck-it Ralph 2: Ralph breaks the Internet”, but if you haven’t you really should. I was forced to watch it by my children, but I actually think it is a brilliant way into understanding the way modern technology works. Ralph is a computer-generated character who can actually step inside the Internet, and see it manifested as a virtual city, with each person visiting represented as a digital avatar. Towards the end, all of these avatars are transformed into the likeness of Ralph, and then they all join together to form one gigantic Ralph avatar made up of millions of mini-Ralphs. I don’t think the filmmakers were intending to provide a perfect metaphor for the church, especially as this only happens in the film because of a computer virus, but I think it’s a rather splendid one.
Paul’s favourite way of describing the family of God is by using the metaphor of a human body, and while he couldn’t possibly have foreseen Wreck-it Ralph 2, he is essentially describing the same thing that happens in the end of that film. As we are transformed into the likeness of Jesus, we join together with millions of other members of the Christian family – all of whom have gone through the same transformation – and become part of one enormous body.
To return to the film for a second: when the computer glitch changes people into Ralphs image, it is indiscriminate. It doesn’t matter if the original avatar was black or white, rich or poor, male or female, young or old – they all become like Ralph, and they all play an equal part in the final gigantic body. So it is with the church: Jesus welcomes us all equally, no matter who we are, or what our background might be. We all get to go on that journey of transformation together, and we all end up as part of something bigger and more amazing than we can comprehend.
The enormous, sprawling body of Christ is able to do so much that as individuals we couldn’t hope to accomplish. Individual Christians can’t end homelessness in a community, but a church can make a real impact on that problem. One Christian is unlikely to lead millions of people to Jesus, but working together the church around the world achieves exactly that every single year. Yet one does not exist without the other – the church is nothing without its unique and handmade individual members – and the members were never meant to relate to God on a purely individual basis. We are many parts, but together we form one body – one designed by God, to help him to remake and transform the world, and ultimately to be united with him.
You might want to join me in praying this prayer.
God I thank you that the church is your very good idea. I thank you for the friendship, fellowship and support that it provides to me, and I pray that you would help me too to play my part in it. Help me to love your church, warts and all, and to connect with you through it. 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:
There is so much going on in every church, and yours is no exception. Today, find a notice sheet or website update of news from your church, and spent some time praying through it. Notice the diverse ways in which the church is working together to bring God’s Kingdom in your community, and see if there is even a new way for you to get involved in that work.
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!