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ONE BODY

PART TWO

Kathy Dingus

 

 

          How many of you have noticed children playing on a playground?  They often play together quite harmoniously, are quite inventive and imaginary in their play.  But quite often they will squabble, quarrel, ostracize and sometimes even push and shove and hit each other.

          Do we as adults act much better?  Don’t we have problems with others in our everyday life with co-workers, our boss, fellow Christians and with our spouses? Do we get along with others that don’t believe exactly as we do?

          I have a song that I often listen to that reminds me that we are all one Body under Christ.  Russ Taff, who is a Contemporary Christian Music Artist, and often sings with the Gaither Homecoming Artists often performs the song “We Will Stand.”  The song makes two statements that I really love. 

1.  I don't care what label you may wear, as long as you belong to Jesus, you belong to me.

2.  You're my brother, you're my sister, take me by the hand.  Together we will work until He comes.  There's no foe that can defeat us, when we're walkin' side by side, as long as there is Love, we will stand. 

Often when this song is sung, the audience clasp hands and raise them to Jesus in song...pledging in song to work together in unity, as one. Can you imagine what would happen if all the denominations would unite and sing these words?  Christ would sure have a large smile on His glorious face, and our hearts would be filled to bursting with a renewed sense of purpose.  To get to work and stand together until He returns

          Another one of my favorite inspirational readings is done once again by the Gaither Homecoming Artists, and read and probably written by Gloria Gaither.  The title of this inspirational is “Sunday School Picnic.”  Once you have meditated upon the message of this reading, and there are several messages within these few words that we can learn so much from, so just don’t read it once.  Read it twice or even three times.  Each time you read it, reflect upon the true meaning behind the words on the surface.

SUNDAY SCHOOL PICNIC
By Bob Benson

Do you remember when they had old-fashioned Sunday school picnics? It was before air-conditioning. They said, "We'll meet at Sycamore Lodge in Shelby Park at 4:30 Saturday. You bring your supper and we'll furnish the tea."

But you came home at the last minute and when you got ready to pack your lunch, all you could find in the refrigerator was one dried up piece of baloney and just enough mustard in the bottom of the jar so that you got it all over your knuckles trying to get to it. And there were just two stale pieces of bread. So you made your baloney sandwich and wrapped it in some brown bag and went to the picnic.

When it came time to eat you sat at the end of a table and spread out your sandwich. But the folks next to you--the lady was a good cook and she had worked all day and she had fried chicken, and baked beans, and potato salad and homemade rolls and sliced tomatoes, and pickles, and olives, and celery and topped it off with two big homemade chocolate pies. And they spread it all out beside you and there you were with your baloney sandwich.

But they said to you, "Why don't we put it all together?" "No, I couldn't do that, I just couldn't even think of it," your murmured embarrassed. "Oh, come on, there's plenty of chicken and plenty of pie, and plenty of everything--and we just love baloney sandwiches. Let's just put it all together." And so you did and there you sat--eating like a king when you came like a pauper.

And I get to thinking--

I think of me "sharing in the very being of God." 2nd Peter 1:4 (NEB) When I think of how little I bring, and how much He brings and that He invites me to "share," I know I should be shouting from the housetops, but I am so filled with awe and wonder that I can hardly be heard.

I know you don't have enough love and faith, or grace, or mercy or wisdom. But He has--He has all those things in abundance and says, "Let's just put it all together. Everything I possess is available to you. Everything I am and can be to a person, I will be to you."

When I think about it like that, it really amuses me to see somebody running along through life hanging on to their dumb bag with that stale baloney sandwich saying, "God's not going to get my sandwich!

No siree, this is mine!" Did you ever see anybody like that--so needy--just about half-starved to death, hanging on for dear life?

It's not that He needs your sandwich. The fact is, you need his chicken.

~~~~~~~~~~~

I often read this inspirational at a combined church meeting of different denominations, a potluck, or even an introduction for an offering.  It fits all  these occasions in such a wonderful way.  You may think of other ways to use this inspiring story.

John 3:16, as I am sure you all have it memorized it by now, states:  “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 

Beloved, that does not mean just the members of the Worldwide Church of God, or Baptists, Methodists, Pentecostals, Presbyterians, non-denominational churches, or the many splinter groups of the aforementioned churches.  It literally means whosoever believes in Christ. That makes all who believe in Him, part of His body.  Do we want to cut off a toe or an arm?  Not me…I don’t want to hinder the work of Christ in any way.

Matthew 18:10, the words of Jesus Christ reads, “Take heed that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that in heaven their angels always see the face of My Father who is in heaven. And Verse 14 goes on to say:  “Even so, it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.

We are all still little ones in so many ways because we are still growing and learning about the Grace of Jesus Christ, and we should be careful not of offend any members of the body of Christ.

           Romans 10:11-13 reads:  “For the scripture says, Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.  For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek (to paraphrase, Baptists, Catholics, Methodists, Lutherans, Pentecostals, or even members of non-denominational churches and the Worldwide Church of God, etc.) for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. 

          So brothers and sisters, I hope that you have been given some “food” for thought by these messages.  I know I have.  Let’s try to act a little better than children on the playground, and begin to realize that we truly are one body in Christ.  So let’s get to work, put it all together, and labor until He comes!