We Need Each Other

The Apostle Paul, speaking to a wonderfully diverse community of faith in Corinth, writes,

“The eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I don’t need you!’ And the head cannot say to the feet, ‘I don’t need you!’ On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other (1 Cor. 12:21–25).”

These were not simply believers with different gifts (administration, preaching, etc.) but a mosaic of cultures and nationalities with socioeconomic diversity.

In Christ, God has given us the foundation for making peace between peoples and for our reconciliation with Him and others. In Christ, He has also fully established the fact that, for the common good, for the blessing of the nations and for the ultimate fulfillment of His purposes upon the earth, we genuinely need each other.

Thus, we are remarkably and miraculously an interdependent global community. We are, by the work of the Spirit, a community that needs the poor, the rural, the urban, the widow, the orphan, the sojourner, fathers, mothers, brothers and sisters; a family comprised of every tribe, tongue and nation. And while we’re at it, let’s be keen to remember that the same Spirit also frees us, in seasons of severe trial and extreme poverty, to “overwhelming joy” and “rich generosity” (2 Cor. 8:1–2). He creates communities of faith that sell their possessions and goods and give “to anyone who has need” (Acts 2:44–45).

Among all our unique differences, flavors, styles, backgrounds, emphases and affiliations, that which genuinely makes us one interdependent community is the precious, powerful gift (the charism) of grace. In humble dependence on the Holy Spirit, embracing the finished work of Christ, we are enabled to fulfill His Great Commission as a global, yet remarkably local, family.

 

This was originally published in The Journey devotional. Bill Yarbrough serves as MTW’s international director for the Americas.  

Bill Yarbrough in Reflection on Jan 11, 2018

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