Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The Bible Challenge: Day 169

The scriptures read are Nehemiah 1-3, Psalm 137 and 1 Corinthians 12.

Nehemiah 1-3. We learn how Nehemiah found out about the fallen walls of Jerusalem, how he got the king of Persia to endorse his efforts, and his assessment of the condition of the city infrastructure. Everybody decides to pitch in. In a church today they'd get plaques. In those days your family got mentioned in the Bible!

Psalm 137. A lament by the Jews in exile. Very moving, till that jarring last line. Points for being honest before God about your feelings, though.

1 Corinthians 12. Paul is still working with divisions in Corinth. He starts off by mentioning the spiritual gifts, different talents given by the Spirit to empower the different kinds of people in the church. I don't for a minute believe this is an exhaustive list.

Then Paul brilliantly uses our bodies as a metaphor for all the different parts and functions of the church, united in Christ's Spirit. Paul points out that we are interdependent on each other and cannot say to fellow Christians that they are unneeded. Nor that unity requires uniformity. The yukkiest parts of the body are just as vital as the really attractive parts. And if one part is in pain, the whole body knows and suffers. Read this chapter carefully and think of examples of it in your present or a past church. How can we be more like a healthy body and less like a collection of unrelated folks who only think they share a a common mission?

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