1 Corinthians 12:12-31a
When Paul spoke of the Church being one body made up of many interdependent parts, he was using a figure of speech that could be applied in other communities as well. For example, it could be applied to Australia – a nation made up of many personalities, capabilities, experiences; religions, races, occupations, etc. And the point that Paul made in relation to the Church could also be made in relation to our country. Just as no one part of the body can dismiss any other part as being unwanted, so no section of the Australian community can rightly dismiss any other healthy part of the community and say, ‘We don’t want you.’ Each has a part to play. “If one member suffers, all suffer together with it; if one member is honoured, all rejoice together with it.” As with the Church in Corinth, so with the nation of Australia, it would not be necessary to make this point if it were not that there are divisions and quarrels among us. We need to be reminded of what ought to be so that we can tackle what actually is happening among us. This requires that we listen to each other instead of shouting at each other, that we respect each other and encourage the contribution that each section of the community can offer. When we demonize some section of the community, we help to tear the whole apart. Unfortunately, religion has, on occasions, disrupted the sense of unity and cooperation, but if we see God’s love reaching out to each person and to each and every section of the community, we will recognize that God’s Spirit is urging just that cooperation and unity that makes for a healthy nation. As members of the body of Christ we are called to work for the unity of Christ’s people, but likewise we are called to do what we can for the unity of our nation as part of our world-wide activity of seeing what is good for the whole planet and its peoples. The true source of all human unity is God.
- What implications are there for seeing your family, congregation, work team, club or association as one body with many interdependent parts?
- Where do you see division and quarrels among members of our nation?
- What more could be done to recognize and embrace the diversity in our country?
- Comment on this: while religion sometimes tears people apart, God is the source of true national unity.