Summary: This is the second week of our Stewardship Series 2009. It is based upon the classic Christian poem "Footprints in the Sand." We can step out boldly knowing the God will always walk beside us. This sermon uses the "one body" illustration to bring us to
12 The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ. 13 For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body-- whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free-- and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. 14 Now the body is not made up of one part but of many. 15 If the foot should say, "Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body," it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, "Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body," it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? 18 But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. 19 If they were all one part, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, but one body. 21 The eye cannot say to the hand, "I don’t need you!" And the head cannot say to the feet, "I don’t need you!" 22 On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, 24 while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has combined the members of the body and has given greater honor to the parts that lacked it, 25 so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. 26 If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. 27 Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.
Step Forward 2 (Congregation) [The Sermon of the Stinky Foot]
It is perhaps destiny that during a sermon series based on a beach… we are reading a scripture text that talks about all the different parts of the body. I mean, there is no other place on earth that we are ever more exposed out in public. And there is one thing that is almost universally true… no matter how good you look… you hate thinking about what you look like at the beach.
Most of us would rather not think about our bodies and if we do think about them… we probably don’t think very complementary things. It’s too fat or too skinny, too short or too tall. Bumpy, lumpy or just plain ugly! Kind of like when I was growing up… I was so ugly… my parents would have to take me everywhere they went just so they wouldn’t have to kiss me goodbye.
But our bodies… even if they are known to be beautiful… have parts that we are embarrassed of… parts we want to cover up… parts that we wish we could improve… parts we wish we could do without out. Just look at the statistics… last year alone… there were 12 million plastic surgery procedures. In a survey… 73% of women said they wanted plastic surgery. No matter how good we look, there is always something that could be better. It is a tension that exists in our personal lives… and oddly… it is the same kind of tension that Paul writes about in his letter to the Corinthians.
It is so tempting in a church family… to look around… at all the different people that make up the body of Christ… some people we will just naturally get along with… some people we will struggle to get along with… and we will wonder… “Lord, I understand why you made feet… but did you have to make them stink!” Lord, O Lord… wouldn’t the church be better without the stinky feet. Now, stop looking around for the stinky foot… cause it’s you. I’m just joking… we don’t have any stinky feet… we’re awesome! (scratch head and look away).
But it’s amazing to me how Paul just jumps in so unabashedly… and talks about this issue. Lets peek back to verse 12:
12 The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ. 13 For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body-- whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free-- and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.