Tuesday, July 26, 2011

One Body, One love

Scripture:1 Corinthians 10-1 Corinthians 12
One of the things that seems clear in this letter, was that the Corinthians were arguing over gifts.  Who was best. Which gift was more important.  (Sound familiar?) They seemed to think that in order to be godly that someone had to speak in tongues   

Observation: I have taken classes on missions and diversity and race/nationality in churches.  I understand that all people are created equal.  That I am a good speaker and my mom is the arms that cleans and my sister is the brain and Wallace is the heart.  That makes so much sense to me.  And in going to Nicaragua, everyone said that I would learn more from them than I taught them.  That I would RECEIVE more from them than I gave.  And I believed that.  But I wasn't ready for what happened.  

 No matter how much my brain knew that I wasn't "better" than those I was meeting, it was impossible not to feel sorry for them when I witnessed the abject poverty.  When I saw the dirt and the uncaged animals and the dirty water.  When I saw starving kids with worn out shoes (or no shoes).  Its hard to not feel "better" when I went back to a posh "resort" with indoor plumbing (even if there wasn't hot water).   I felt so sorry for them, and just knew how much better I had it!  I felt so guilty for all I had--for having it so much "better".  And that heavy weight was hard to carry.  

But Sunday morning, we went to church and felt God move.  The people dressed up in better clothes than I was wearing that day and praised God louder than I ever could.  And then Monday the kids we lead in VBS had all brought fruits from their trees at homes as gifts for us.  And then Tuesday I spent all morning talking to the women of the community and hearing how happy they were--being with their families each day, loving their neighbors.  And I realized that it wasn't about me being better off.  It wasn't for me to feel guilty.  It was for me to believe what I thougth knew.  

We all are parts of Christ's body.  That we each were poor and rich.  That we each had our jobs and places in the kingdom.  Pastor, teacher, encourager, helper, speaker of tongues, we are all precious.  We are all important.  

Application--I hope everyone of you has the chance to step outside themselves and learn in their heart what they know in their head.  I pray that you'll have a chance to realize that we are all the body of Christ.  And that you'll know how important and loved you are.  Praying that we will all leave here changed, better, and loving Christ and each other more!

Prayer:  God of the nations--remind me that I'm yours.  I belong to you.  That I am holy and special, but so is my neighbor.  So is my friend.  So is my enemy.  Let me remember that I am an important memeber of your body, but it is not my job to be above any other of your children.  Bless those I love, those I've met, those I am angry with, and those I've never known.  Bless us your children and let us walk your paths.  In your holy name we pray! Amen.

Pastor Emily


Martha J. M. Orlando said...

"The Body of Christ" is one of my favorite songs that we sing in church. It reminds us all of God's love for each and every one of us and how we should love others in His name.

Lindsay said...

I wasn't prepared to get tearing when I opened up the blog. Thank you for sharing, Emily!

The part that jumped out is when Paul was talking about temptation and said that God does not let us be tempted beyond what we can handle... how empowering for us... we can handle the temptation to sin that confronts us and tempts us to live that life, but God only lets us be tempted with things that we are capable of resisting. But, he still gives us the choice to follow temptation.

God, thank you for giving me the power to resist temptation... may I choose to use this power, through faith, when I am confronted by temptation... temptation to control, be lazy, choose something other than love. For, none of these temptations are greater than you, God!!!

Mary said...

I too felt the verses in chapter 10 on temptation were talking to me. If you think you are standing firm, be careful you don't fall. (I shouldn't think I can't be tempted.) When you are tempted, He will provide a way out so you can stand up under it. (When I am tempted I need to look for God's way out.)
All parts of one body. We all have our part to do, so this body can work. What a blessing that trip was!

Carol Flores said...

Thanks for relating this to your mission trip. As I told you I experienced similar emotions on our trips to Costa Rica. The heavy heart about the poverty vs. what I would call almost envy of their generosity, love and happiness despite living in what we would consider miserable conditions. I doubt they will ever know what a lasting gift they gave to me. But as it said in Chapter 10, we all drink from the same spiritual food and drink, Jesus our Rock.