March 31, 2012

Romans 12:1-8

1 So, brothers and sisters, because of God’s mercies, I encourage you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice that is holy and pleasing to God. This is your appropriate priestly service. 2 Don’t be conformed to the patterns of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds so that you can figure out what God’s will is—what is good and pleasing and mature. 3 Because of the grace that God gave me, I can say to each one of you: don’t think of yourself more highly than you ought to think. Instead be reasonable since God has measured out a portion of faith to each one of you. 4 We have many parts in one body, but the parts don’t all have the same function. 5 In the same way, though there are many of us, we are one body in Christ, and individually we belong to each other. 6 We have different gifts that are consistent with God’s grace that has been given to us. If your gift is prophecy, you should prophesy in proportion to your faith. 7 If your gift is service, devote yourself to serving. If your gift is teaching, devote yourself to teaching. 8 If your gift is encouragement, devote yourself to encouraging. The one giving should do it with no strings attached. The leader should lead with passion. The one showing mercy should be cheerful." (CEB)

What a beautiful picture of what the Church should be, a body of many parts with different jobs and the humility to serve each other (and the world) with our gifts. The unity of this body is so great that Paul even says, "we belong to each other." What could the life and impact of the Church look like if we lived in such a way that we belonged to one another? Not in some warped, selfish, take advantage of way but out of humility, mercy, and grace. What does that look like to you?

What do you find meaningful, confusing, or challenging in this passage?