Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – September 21, 2019
For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. Romans 12:4-5
Do you remember the movie The Mighty Ducks? There’s no particular reason why you should- it was, on the whole, a forgettable, underwhelming children’s movie from the early 1990’s. But for me, it was a definitive moment in my childhood, filling my imagination with dreams of ice hockey glory. The one obvious obstacle to this dream was that I grew up in the Deep South, hundreds of miles away from ice hockey conditions and culture.
Yet, not to be deterred, I took to the streets and spent countless hours in my neighborhood perfecting the skills of roller hockey. Since I played in isolation, I was convinced I was the next Wayne Gretzky! I was the fastest skater I knew, with the best shot in town. Years later when I finally joined a community rec team, I learned a vital lesson: hockey is a team sport!
When playing with others, I quickly realized my gifts were limited and others excelled where I struggled. I was one of the slowest skaters on the team, couldn’t play defense to save my life, but I could hit the puck very hard! This was my contribution, my gift that I had to offer to the team. This gift was an essential element, but was only a part of the picture. My particular gifts and skills only made sense in the context of the greater whole.
The Christian faith is a team sport. It is infinitely more exciting and enjoyable when it is lived with others in the life of the church. Life in community fosters a humble and charitable spirit. You learn to celebrate and appreciate the talents and gifts of others, seeing them as a compliment rather than a threat. Similarly, life in community frees you from the impossible burden of believing you have to be all things to all people. You are liberated to learn who God has uniquely made you to be, and by his grace to become that version of yourself.
You and I belong to one another, and our gifts only flourish when they are offered for the good of the body. This is the church at its very best, coming together to be something more beautiful and compelling and true than it is in isolated independence. Press into the gift of community, and find the joy of living the Christian life as a team sport!
Father, thank you for the gift of community and life together with your people, through Christ our Lord, Amen.
Where have you kept community at arms length and struggled to embrace this “team sport” vision for your faith?
Our gifts only flourish when they are offered for the good of the Body of Christ. #WisdomHunters #team #Jesus
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