Summary: This sermon started when I was in Preaching Class, and it evolved into this. I preached this sermon my first Sunday at my church.
I’m a “dunker.” Not with a basketball, as I am only 5’9”, but rather with chocolate chip cookies. There is nothing quite like the chocolate chip cookie. They come in all shapes and sizes, but they are very similar in how they are made. There is the flour, sugar, butter, eggs, vanilla and, of course, chocolate chips. All these ingredients work together to form the chocolate chip cookie. I have met very few people who don’t like chocolate chip cookies. We bake them for one purpose: to be eaten. Sure we send some to school with the kids when it’s their birthday, or we leave them for Santa, but all with the intent that somebody will consume them.
The human body is like a chocolate chip cookie, with many ingredients, but making up something much bigger than the individual parts. The Church is like that, or at least it should be.
Turn with me to I Corinthians 12:12. Keep your Bible open, because we will work our way through this passage.
Just as the ingredients in a chocolate chip cookie exist in the cookie, so we exist in the Church. The ingredients were baked to form the chocolate chip cookie, so we were baptized to form the body of Christ (the Church). Paul was writing to a church that wasn’t operating as one unit. At the beginning of the letter, he refers to that, saying, “One of you says, ‘I follow Paul’; another ‘I follow Apollos’; another, ‘I follow Cephas’ [who we know as Peter]; still another, ‘I follow Christ.’” There were racial distinctions and social and economic distinctions as well, that Paul mentioned in verse 13. But throw all of that away, because the Church is one in Christ.
What is an unimportant ingredient in a chocolate chip cookie? Flour? What if we left out flour, because it’s not a “flour” cookie? We can’t really leave out anything. If all we had were sugar, we would have sugar, but not a chocolate chip cookie. Or if there were no sugar it would be bland. The chocolate chip cookie recipe gives specific ingredients in a specific order and a specific quantity for a reason. Because that’s the way it works best. Too much of one thing or not enough of another throws off the balance of the chocolate chip cookie.
There is no unimportant part of the body. The foot may not be able to run up and down the piano reproducing the music of Mozart, but without the feet, the hands will never get to the piano. If we were all a hand, we would look like the hand from those old Hamburger Helper commercials. God designed these bodies that we inhabit. They were designed in a way to be efficient and practical. We would starve to death if our hands and arms weren’t long enough to reach our mouths. The ear is shaped in a way to gather sound. If our noses were turned upside down, we would drown in the rain. No part of the human body is insignificant.
Mike, you’re a football coach. Are quarterbacks important? Is the left guard inferior to the quarterback? If there’s no offensive line, the quarterback is going to eat a lot of grass. Just because an offensive lineman doesn’t get the same recognition as the quarterback, that job is still vital to the success of the team. If you don’t believe me, answer this question: who quarterbacked the Denver Broncos to back-to-back Super Bowls? John Elway. Who was the left guard? I have no idea, but without the left guard the Broncos wouldn’t have won.
No part of the Church body is insignificant. There is no insignificant job in the Church. Everyone that works for the betterment of the Church plays a role in making the Church body healthier. The Church is one in Christ.
The chocolate chip can’t say that it is the star and the other ingredients don’t matter. In fact, it is the ingredients that you can’t see in the finished product that are most vital to the chocolate chip cookie. The liquid ingredients (vanilla, eggs and butter) hold it all together. Without those you would only have a mixture of flour, sugar and chocolate chips. In fact, the chocolate chips could be left out and you would still have a functional cookie. What about if one of the eggs were rotten? How would that affect the cookie?
Without the hand, the body can’t pick up something the eye sees. The eye can see the most delicious chocolate chip cookie, but has no way of retrieving it on its own. What we tend to think of as important parts (feet, hands, eyes) the body can, if necessary, life without. People function in society everyday without feet or sight. They certainly have many more challenges to overcome.