Monday, November 7, 2016

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Festival of Unity of Communion of Churches
1 Corinthians 12:12-27
Dr. Thomas Philip
Orlando MTC, Florida
12 For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For in the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.
Two psychologists presented their findings on how members of the various sections of eleven major symphony orchestra perceived each other. The percussionists were viewed as insensitive, unintelligent, and hard-of-hearing, yet fun-loving. String players were seen as arrogant, stuffy, and nonathletic. The orchestra members overwhelmingly chose "loud" as the primary adjective to describe the brass players. Woodwind players seemed to be held in the highest esteem, described as quiet and meticulous, though a bit egotistical. Interesting findings, to say the least! With such widely divergent personalities and perceptions, how could an orchestra ever come together to make such wonderful music? The answer is simple: regardless of how those musicians view each other, they subordinate their feelings and biases to the leadership of the conductor. Under his guidance, they play beautiful music. (This illustration is an adaptation from Today in the Word, June 22, 1992.)

The working of the body of Christ – the Church – as we see in the passage for this meditation is similar to the symphony orchestra in the illustration. Its members are having a wide variety of varied abilities and talents. There is a wide variation in interests, skills, occupations, economic levels, educational levels, temperament, personality, and spiritual maturity among the members. It is interesting that in each person is a combination of all these attributes, which results in a complex individual. Each of these attributes influences the level and type of involvement of each member in the Church. Besides, the spiritual gifts are different in different people. Some can teach, some pray eloquently, some help in the worship, some sing praises, some are generous in contributing time and other resources, some are good at preaching and the list goes on. In this environment one may appreciate and encourage another one's gifts or may view with criticism. This diversity can lead to a lively church or to chaos. The only way to bring out the best out of the body of Christ – as in the case of the orchestra – is to submit our feelings and biases to the lordship of its head, Jesus Christ and to play each one's part to the best of God given abilities in Christian love.


Lord, make me an instrument of your peace: where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy. O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console, to be understood as to understand, to be loved as to love. For it is in giving that we receive, it is in pardoning that we are pardoned, and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen. (Saint Francis)
Absence of diversity is uniformity. While diversity adds color and flavor, uniformity leads to monotony and eventual extinction.