United we build

BULLETIN ARTICLE – 3 September 2017

The Titanic Museum in Belfast, Ireland has a curious poster which said “United we stand, Divided we fall.” It was an exhortation to the workers at that time to unite and come together to advocate for better working conditions and pay at the shipyard. Every worker, no matter what work he did, had fundamental rights to a fair wage. It took a lot of different skilled workers to build an ocean liner. There were metal workers, machinists, wood workers, etc. They were all needed. If each group simply represented their own interests, there would be sub-optimal results in negotiating with the employers. However, as a united body, the workers could stand in solidarity to improve their lot. They all needed one another and they either stood together or fell together. 

The Body of Christ is not such a union. But, in some ways, the Body is like the Workers Union that built the Titanic. There is a common purpose – to build the Kingdom of God. Jesus instructed all who would bear His Name to “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you” (Matt 28:19, 20a). The Body of Christ consists of many different people with the distinctive characteristic that they were all baptized in one Spirit. They were immersed in the Spirit and drank in the Spirit. The people had different functions to perform and they were given the gift of the person of the Holy Spirit who endowed them with at least one spiritual gift so that they can perform that function. The Apostle Paul lists several of the functions of the Body of Christ. Some were apostles, others prophets, teachers, yet others miracle workers and healers. Though they perform different functions, they were all needed for the function of the Body of Christ. Hence, no one should consider himself and his function more important than another. They are all needed to work together and Paul illustrates this with the picture of the human body and how its different parts work together. There is no part or function that is dispensable in the Body of Christ. Each function and each member in the Body of Christ must work together for the whole to function properly.

As members of the local assembly here, we too are given spiritual gifts so that we can perform different functions for the common good of the Church. We are all indispensable in the Body of Christ. May we ask God to reveal to us what gifts He has given us for the common good of the Body. May we ask God to equip us with all we need to fulfil the jobs He has given us so that we can build up and grow the Church of Jesus Christ.

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