Advent Reflections 2022: 4th December

1 Corinthians 12: 12-20
‘As it is, there are many members, yet one body’ (verse 20). Psalm 139 v.14 tells us that our bodies are ‘fearfully and wonderfully made’
and part of, and intrinsic to, that ‘wonderful making’ is the way the different parts of the body work together and co-operate with each other to fulfil the body’s needs. If my foot itches, my hand automatically reaches down to scratch it – I don’t have to reason with my hand or tell it to act, or even have a conversation with myself about it!

Paul, writing to the Corinthian church, is not, of course, intending to give them a biology lesson, but is simply using the body as a very pertinent example of the way that Christians should interact within a Christian community, and hopefully also within the world. Part of this is recognising that to be effective we need to work together, for none of us on our own has all the gifts and graces necessary to build the body of Christ. But equally, and perhaps even more important, is that we acknowledge the value of each individual’s gifting.

It is not only that our gifts are different and complementary, but that each is beautiful and of worth in its own right, and it’s only when we learn to fully embrace this concept that we are able to act with genuine humility and respect towards each other. In this way, we become the loving, vibrant community that God intends us to be.

Liz Stuart

Loving God,
infuse your people with a spirit of co-operation
such that gifts may flourish,
nourished by the generosity and grace of others,
and all may find true affirmation and belonging;
indeed, that there is room for you and me. Amen.