Useless body parts.

October 2, 2007 at 9:36 am 3 comments

There is an article this morning on my Yahoo! front page with the title New Wisdom on Teeth. The article attempts to explain why we have wisdom teeth that just cause us trouble and have no apparent useful purpose.  There are links in the article to other sites that discuss other useless body parts. Here for example. 

I have no interest or desire to talk against or for evolution or Charles Darwin or anything else related to the questions this article poses.  What I did think about though, were the words of the Apostle Paul in 1Corinthians 12, comparing the human body to the Spiritual Body called the church. (12) The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up the whole body.  So it is with the body of Christ.  (18) But God made our bodies with many parts, and he has put each part just where he wants it. (22) In fact, some of the parts that seem weakest and least important are really the most necessary. And the parts we regard as less honorable are those we clothe with the greatest care.

The Father is clearly communicating His desire that His Family would see the value of all members of the Family regardless of their heritage, gender, age, income, experience, knowledge, shape, skin color, or any other defining characteristic.  Yet in most churches there ceratinly are distinctions made related to the relative value of someone to the “Body”.  In some churches this discrimination is malicious and done with deliberate intention.  However, I think in most churches, when people are routinely discriminated against because of one of the previously mentioned definitions, it is largely done without malice.  But it is done.

Does it really make a lot of difference if some Body parts are determined to be less important by just failing to pay attention to those Jesus called “the least of these” or by deliberate attempts to not value some people?  Isn’t the result the same?

Churches need skilled people, they need people with money, they need people who can communicate well and those who can make a good first impression.  But according to what the Apostle Paul says, inspired by the Holy Spirit, the Body cannot function without the weakest and least important. 

The fact that many, if not most churches do function without the weakest and least important, might indicate whether that institution was truly the Body of Christ, might it not?

Last Sunday at Trinity there were four or five young African American men sitting in the back against the wall.  They are on what I think is called work release or some other program that allows them to leave the place they are incarcerated and attend church.  I try to go and talk with them each time I see them and to make sure they feel welcomed and blessed, but as I thought back on the conversation I had with them I wondered what part they play in the Family or the Body?  They have no money to give, they can’t serve in children or youth ministry, they are quite shy and seem to be ashamed of the prison clothes they are dressed in and though they no doubt have significant skills to offer the church, they are not able to.

Are they a useless part?  Of course, we all agree, they are not.  So what Body part might they be?  

One thing I know is when I do what I am called to do and treat these men with the dignity they deserve and extend to them a blessing and the love of the Father, I am able to use the Body part that God created me to be.  If they were not present with this Family, I might not be able to use my part. 

No doubt, if these brothers, were free to be with this Family all the time we would discover other unique and necessary parts of the Body they are designed to fill.  But for now these who appear to be the weakest and least important are here because they require the greatest care (23)  and when I give that care, I am using my part in a way I might not otherwise.  

(24) …So God has put the Body together in such a way that extra honor and care are given to those parts that have less dignity.  This makes for harmony among the members, so that all the members care for each other equally.

My body clearly had and has some really useless parts.  I seem to get along just fine without my wisdom teeth, tonsils and gall bladder and I really don’t think I need the hair that seems to be growing, for no apparent reason in my ears, but The Body has no useless parts.

Father forgive us for acting as if some parts of Your Body are useless.  Show us how to give extra honor and dignity to those in the Family who need it most.  For the sake of Jesus and His Body we pray.  Amen.

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Entry filed under: Belief, Christianity, Church, Culture, Faith, Family, Friendship, Holy Spirit, Institutional church, Jesus, Revelation, Supernatural, The Father, Thoughts.

Monday morning meanderings. Vol.14 This blogging life.

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. amanda  |  October 3, 2007 at 2:51 pm

    Jeremy, i like what you say about seeds. i think it is important to remember even we are having a bad day the smile we show, or the finger we don’t could very well be a start of Jesus working in somebody elses life

  • 2. Jeremy  |  October 2, 2007 at 11:34 am

    I have learned a little bit about Christians in prison as i spent the summer serving on a worship team at our prison in mason county. Here are a couple things to consider.

    For starters, the church absolutely exists in prison. These guys you mentioned may not be able to serve the church outside the prison, but they may very well be exceptionally active servants within their prison. You never know, those guys may be small group leaders, teachers, evangelists, worship team, etc. The trip into town for church may be a well needed/deserved chance for them to be fed and recharged as they are doing the Father’s work in a very difficult environment.

    Secondly, i also know from my experiences this summer that some inmates who are not saved may attend church functions just for a chance to get out or hear live music. Hey, they’re locked up, i don’t fault them for that. These moments of exposure to church on the outside may be very important seeds in their lives.

  • 3. Leslee  |  October 2, 2007 at 10:04 am

    How do I tell you that I have always felt like a useless body part…that I have little or nothing to give and that you and Linda have always made me feel significant….significant in your lives, in your hearts, in God’s kingdom. I have always felt like when I got to heaven God wouldn’t notice that I had arrived but now I think he might because somehow I have been important in your lives. You just never know who those are that might feel “useless and unimportant” and so I guess it’s important to treat all people with dignity for who really knows what burdens we carry and how we see ourselves. God gave you a wonderful gift of love and encouragement for others, I have been blessed over and over by that…. i sure miss you two and can’t wait to see you face to face but my heart is connected to yours so the distance has not broken the bond….our heart strings stretch into eternity don’t they? We know that full well.

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