Everyone's Gift Matters
Indeed, the body does not consist of one member but of many. If the foot would say, "Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body," that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear would say, "Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body," that would not make it any less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole body were hearing, where would the sense of smell be? But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be? As it is, there are many members, yet one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, "I have no need of you," nor again the head to the feet, "I have no need of you." On the contrary, the members of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and those members of the body that we think less honorable, we clothe with greater honor, and our less respectable members are treated with greater respect; whereas our more respectable members do not need this. But God has so arranged the body, giving the greater honor to the inferior member, that there may be no dissension within the body, but the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together with it; if one member is honored, all rejoice together with it. 1 Corinthians 12:14-26 (NRSV)
After having surgery on one of her big toes, Linda Neff, from Ontario, required a walker for support and weeks of recovery. Her entire daily life seemed to revolve around that toe and its healing. Linda had never said to a friend, "Let me show you my wonderful toe! It helps me so much every day!" But after this experience she felt a new appreciation for its importance.
The way Linda undervalued her toe, made her think about the parts of the body of Christ - the church. Some people have roles to play that often go unnoticed, yet they serve important functions in God's work. Think of the editors who make a writer's work clearer; the people who quietly pray for others, and the custodians who keep church facilities clean and ready for study and worship each week. The list goes on. How often do we take the time to acknowledge and encourage others? Paul reminds us that when any member suffers, we all suffer; and when any member is honored, we rejoice together. When members of our Christian family are hurting in some way, we can support and encourage one another, renewing our strength for the tasks God has assigned us. When we care for and value one another, it is cause for rejoicing.
As people are struggling with finances, boredom, loneliness, anxiety, separation, we can all do our part in encouraging and supporting each other. So many have all ready done this with car parades; signs, videos, phone calls, visits thru windows and on the list goes. Now is not the time to give up, but to continue to spread hope and cheer.
Prayer: Dear God, help us to see the value of others and to commend them for their work, in Jesus' name, amen.