For just as the body is one has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one, so it is with Christ for in one Spirit we were all baptized into one Body-Jews or Greeks, slaves or free-all were made to drink of one Spirit. I Corinthians 12:12-13
I have this vision of a great crowd of people of every race and social status standing in a shower in which the waters of baptism are pouring down upon everyone. And slowly the bodies of those in the baptism shower begin to merge into a single multicolored, multifaceted body which melds into the body of Christ.
In the second verse of his letter, Paul addresses the “church of God that is in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ, called to be saints TOGETHER WITH ALL THOSE WHO IN EVERY PLACE CALL UPON THE NAME OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, BOTH THEIR LORD AND OURS:
Some in the church at Corinth may have been led to believe that they were not part of the body of Christ. However, the problem of the church over most of its history is for a group to think that they are part of Christ’s body, but they are not sure about some others or only grudgingly offer membership in Christ’ body.
The congregation in Corinth was a fractious group; as the church is yet today. But we cannot undo what Christ as done. When he includes people in his body, it doesn’t matter what we think. He is the one who decides who are members of his body.
On Sunday when Becky and I drive down the street to Zion Lutheran, we pass by two other churches, two other members of Christ’s body. I may think that my group is the more valuable part of Christ’s body, but I doubt Christ holds that opinion.
At the conclusion of the epistle lesson for this coming Sunday, we will read, “So now faith, hope and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” That’s a love which begins with Christ and finds its fullest expression on the cross.