Honoring the Body of Christ
Vs.3 Therefore, friends, select from among yourselves seven men of good standing, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may appoint to this task,
Church is a place where believers worship, care and proclaim together Jesus as Savior. In this passage, Luke narrates a conflict or a crisis situation in the early Church. The Church grows as a result of the faithful ministry of the Apostles. The number of Jewish and Gentile Christians increased numerically. At this time there was an overload for the Apostles in the administration of the Word of God and the management of the common fund for the poor. Here some cultural tensions arose among the congregation and also murmuring because of the difference in language, culture, and lifestyle. Stephen who was a practical minded Christian minister dealt with this issue with wisdom and full of Spirit.
The proposed solution revealed the values that guided the decision to a holistic ministry. The decision making process in the Church is important. Here, the Church resolves the problem and the Council had elected seven ministers for leading the Church.
God has appointed Apostles, prophets, and teachers for His ministry and blessed them with enough gifts, especially the gift of healing and reconciliation. Here, Luke emphasizes social ministry - that is, feeding the poor by serving the table as equally valid with the edification ministry - the ministry of the Word of God. The Church is the body of Christ, which is the Communion with Jesus. John 15:5 says, “I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit.” Each Christian is an equal part of the body of Christ. If one part suffers, other parts will feel it also. If one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. The diversity of gifts, that is each supporting the other, makes the body of Christ (Church) strong.
Lord, help us to be conscious about the body of Christ. Let every service be a time for the glorification of God, not for the gratification of the self. Amen
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
“Little thing is a little thing, but faithfulness in a little thing is a great thing.” Amy CarmichaelMrs. Blessy Mathew, W/o Rev. Mathew Baby, St. James Mar Thoma Church, NY