This weekend I preached on the blessing of finding our unity in the church through Christ. If we find our standing in the congregation established by anything other than the good news of the forgiveness of sins we will soon find ourselves pushing people to the outside or find ourselves pushed to the outside.
In the body of Christ we are many different members but we are one body. We are arranged by God in this body in such a way that together we form a unity that cannot be realized when we serve separate. Indeed the sum is greater than the parts.
Nearer, stronger, and closer are all words that do not work to describe our connection to the body of Christ. I am not closer to Christ, nearer to my God or stronger in my relationship in Christ because of anything I have done. I am in Christ and so this is true for all who believe in Jesus. I am important in this congregation because of what Christ has done for me. The woman suffering from cancer is important to this congregation because of what Christ has done for her. The divorced man who only gets to see his son every other weekend is important in this congregation because of what Christ has done for him. The couple that helped found this congregation over fifty years ago are important to this congregation because of what Christ has done for them.
Our relationships in this congregation are formed by the love of Jesus Christ that is revealed in the sacrifice of the cross and the victory of the resurrection. There is not a homogenous membership in the body of Christ that can be determined by a social or economic indicator. We are fearfully and wonderfully made to be a widely diverse group that finds our bond in Christ as our head.