“If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?”
“And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you.” (1 Corinthians 12:15, 21)
On our own terms
It isn’t that there’s only one way to do something. There are as many ways to live a life as there are lives. Qualify it how you will. By gender and generation and culture. Okay. Stir in the fact that we are human. Unless you’re an insomniac or night owl, your circadian rhythm is most likely diurnal and you probably live under some sort of economic auspices. All these qualifiers! It’s almost like you have to make time to go to church. And once we get there, we’re going to bicker about office and station and whatnot? I’m grateful (sometimes) for the mere fact that I got off work this afternoon (actually I was off all day today, hee-hee). And failing gratitude for that, at least I have a job right? I’m a bookseller and I’ve been doing it for a long time. Is it what I was called to do? I don’t really think so. I mean, I don’t feel like a bookseller when I step in the sanctuary on Sunday morning. I feel like a human. I feel love and maybe standoffishness. Some of my quirks and peccadilloes begin to tell and unless my friends are there, I tend to close off in the service (yes). I might see the Pastor and say hi. But this is church. It’s far from perfect. I’ve been attending my current church (haven’t had all that many in my lifetime) for about a year now and feel as integrated as when I started. Doesn’t mean I’m going to stop attending or go somewhere else is the point.
I feel that the twelfth chapter of Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians is an exemplary cross-section of a well-oiled, living, inter-church machine. That sounds a little stark. But I think “organic” is too overused to use again. Somewhere in the middle.
“Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? To his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.” (Romans 14:4)
For lack of any better terms…
“And the eye cannot say unto the hand…nor again the head to the feet…”
I believe there is danger in seeking to narrow down too much the specific calling with reference to our brothers and sisters in Christ. As we are meant to complement one another and as we can be as mercurial as quicksilver (same thing), we must stay in the flow of the Holy Spirit. Real quick, another name for a doctor not really doing his job (Merely practicing medicine? Or just not called?) is “quacksalver”. It sounds like “quicksilver”, get it? Point I’m getting at is, if we’re going to prescribe our own opinions as to who people are or are not, we will offend the One who called them in the first place. Paul speaks in his second letter to the Corinthians (13:10), “Therefore I write these things being absent, lest being present I should use sharpness,” Listen: “according to the power which the Lord hath given me to edification, and not to destruction.” Paul fulfilled his office of apostle with flying colors. He talks about turning the power with which he was gifted against those who should have and would have received it for a blessing. But Paul would have been in the right, in this case. Thing is, I believe we all have that power. To believe in someone–whether silently or no–and ensure they become who God sees them as.
Again, it’s touch and go. Maybe literally. If the Holy Spirit intimates to you that someone would be a blessing doing this thing or that, and He tells you to tell them, go for it. We are gathered here together to bear witness to the God who made us and continues to mold us into His image day by day. And night by night.
“But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased Him.” (1 Corinthians 12:18)
“For we are glad, when we are weak, and ye are strong: and this also we wish, even your perfection.” (2 Corinthians 13:9)