Care for One Another
Good morning everyone. My name is Julie Hawkins, and I am one of the pastors here. I can’t believe that this is the last week of summer break. Does anyone else feel like summer just flew by? And we are back to school this week! For all of you parents out there that are feeling a little overwhelmed, I’m right there with you! There is so much to keep track of this time of year, from school supplies to soccer practice. And all week this week, I’ve felt like I was forgetting something important, and I couldn’t remember what it was. I got the school supplies, the kids are registered, we know the bus routes and pick-up drop of times, the after-school schedule and activities are all ironed out. But I knew there was anything that I’d missed…And then, as I was working on the sermon for a wedding that I am officiating next weekend… And really feeling sentimental that the text the couple asked me to preach was the same text that Joey and I used for our wedding…Our wedding…I don’t want to tell you how long it took me to realize that the big important thing that I was forgetting was our anniversary. 19 years ago, this week, Joey and I stood right here and vowed to love, honor, and cherish one another. In the midst of everyday life, I almost neglected this very important day!
We are in the last two weeks of our One Another series, walking through the many one another’s of the New Testament that teach us how followers of Jesus are supposed to treat one another. And almost every week, we’ve said something like, “This might be the most challenging one of all.” Well, guess what brothers and sisters? This week’s one another might be the most challenging one of all. This week, we answer the everyday call to Care For One Another. In our 21st century culture, there is so many things competing for our attention…It is almost impossible to get a moment for ourselves, let alone to stop and think of someone else. And yet, we are called to Care for One Another in a self-sacrificing, community-driven way. Our text this morning is in 1 Corinthians 12, where Paul shows us that when we care for one another, we care for the whole church, and we care for ourselves in the process too. Let’s look at the text together, it will be up on the screen behind me:
“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. For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body – Jews or Greeks, slaves or free – and all were made to drink of one Spirit. For the body does not consist of one member but of many. If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body, “ that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body, “ that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell?” But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, yet one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” not again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” 1 Corinthians 12:12-21
Paul continues this description of the body and how we are to honor the different parts of the body, whether they are what we might consider weak or honorable and then he ends by saying God has intentionally composed the body in this was so:
“…that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together. Now you are the body of Christ and individually member of it.” 1 Corinthians 12:25-27
This is the Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.
The imagery of the church being a body was a favorite of the Apostle Paul. You might even remember that it showed up in our text last week from Romans as we learned to Live in Harmony with One Another. But nowhere do we see this imagery more than in Paul’s letter to the Corinthians.
A few things that it is good for you to know about the Corinthian church and the city it was located in: Corinth was a waterfront community known for its wealth and affluence. Corinthians were known for their focus on outward appearance and experiences. And Corinthians had a fascination with the human body, from outward things like clothes and jewelry, to the intellect of the brain, to pleasure and physique. How you looked on the outside was extremely important in Corinth, and this was true of the Corinthian church too.