One of Paul’s recurring metaphors in his letters is the that the community of Jesus’ disciples are like a human body. That is why we are called the “body of Christ”. We are hands and feet and noses and eyes and even toes. The best illustration I have ever heard preached was provided by Bishop Joseph Garlington of Covenant Church of Pittsburgh. He was preaching on one of Paul’s texts about the parts of the body and described a night when he got out of bed to use the bathroom and caught his little toe on bedframe. He said that he understood exactly what Paul meant when he said that the pain suffered by one part of the body affects the entire body. You bet! I have done that same thing. It takes your breath away. It causes you to bend over in pain or hop around or scream of fall to the floor and pound your fist. That is how important the little toe is. It takes control of the body when in pain. But there is more to the toe than that. When I was in college, I met a former section champion wrestler who would come to all our matches. I asked him why he did not wrestle for the team. He told me he had a lawn mower accident and lost one of his toes. As a result, he could not push off on his foot and had significantly reduced balance. That little toe had a purpose and without it, he could not compete. Which leads me to my final story, though it might be only a legend. It is said that in 1962, after President Kennedy declared that the US would go to the moon within a decade, he visited NASA, where he was to give a speech. While on a tour of the facility, JFK encountered a man with a broom. The President walked over to the man and said, “Hi, I’m Jack Kennedy. What do you do here?” “Well, Mr. President,” the man is said to have responded, “I’m helping put a man on the moon.” True or not, I love that story. No task is successful without all the many jobs getting done, even what appear to be the menial ones. Which means that someone has to do each one of them. Perhaps just as importantly, no one is to do all of them. No one can.
As a church, what is our task that requires all parts of the body? There are several but one of them is our ministry to each other. How do we function as our own community of faith? How do we care for each other? We need everyone to offer their gifts and talents to the task. Come and hear about it when Pastor Jeff Preaches: God Does Not Want Your Money, But God Does Want Your Ministry based on 1 Corinthians 12: 12-31. Come and hear about it Sunday at 8:30 and 11 at John McMillan Presbyterian Church. We look forward to seeing you.