As all churches consider what next looks like after the pandemic, it would be easy to view their situation as scarce.
And why not? We’ve been separated and scattered for over a year, with countless facing job loss, sickness, death, and uncertainty. Even with some gathering in person, this can feel like we are all living on islands unto ourselves.
I’m reminded of a passage from Paul’s first letter to the Corinthian church. They, too, were experiencing isolation, though one of their own making. In-fighting, jealousy, cliques, superficial hierarchy, and selfishness pushed them further and further apart.
So, Paul writes with a message of unity. He reminds them that though they are separated, they are part of but one body. The church is Jesus’ body. And each one of them is a part of the body, bringing personal significance to its composition.
And when you begin to see yourself as inseparably a part of Jesus’ body, the anxiety and fear of scarcity begin to go away. The body of Christ is not a limited vessel but one of abundant possibilities.
And out of their unified abundance, Paul calls them to love each other and the world around them with patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, self-control, mercy, and drive.
Alone is not what this faith journey with Jesus is designed to be. No, Christ beckons us to collaborate to redeem God’s world one person at a time. Together, we have abundant resources (people, talents, strengths, creativity, expertise, assets, etc.). Together, we can accomplish mighty things.
Are we willing to bring our best selves to the body of Christ? Are we ready to equip the giftedness within all of our members?
May we tackle next together in dynamic collaboration.