Many Members, One Body

Indeed, the body does not consist of one member but of many… If one member suffers, all suffer together with it; if one member is honored, all rejoice together with it.
I Corinthians 12: 14, 26

In I Corinthians 12, Paul writes extensively about the unity of the many members of one body. He insists that every member of the body is distinct and yet connected to every other member. “If the foot would say, ‘Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,’ that would not make it any less a part of the body” (v. 15). “The eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I have no need of you’” (v. 21a). Indeed Paul proclaims, “God has so arranged the body, giving the greater honor to the inferior member, that there may be no dissension within the body, but the members may have the same care for one another” (v. 24b-25).

I can think of nothing that demonstrates the essential unity of the “body” of humankind more than the global pandemic through which we are currently living. Our lives are distinct and yet connected—literally, not just metaphorically—to lives all across the world. Not one of us can say we do not belong to the body or we do not need some other part of the body. We are many members of one body; we all need each other. We heed guidelines for fighting the coronavirus, for example, because we know that what we do affects the health and safety of others. We know the truth of Paul’s affirmation, “If one member suffers, all suffer together with it; if one member is honored, all rejoice together with it.”

Rev. Dr. Sharon Harris-Ewing
Assistant Minister

Today, let us focus our prayer on unity:

God of All: We confess that the stress and uncertainty of these times sometimes obscure our ability to see our connectedness to all people and to care for one another as you intend. At every level, from world leaders, to national leaders, to state leaders, to community and church leaders ,to the people in our neighborhoods, and in our homes, empower us with your wisdom and love to overcome dissension and discord with understanding, respect, and collaboration, so that the whole body can be healed. We cannot do it alone. In Jesus’ name. Amen.