Now we’re moving from preaching to meddling, as the old cliché goes. To declare that there is a life worthy of the gospel is to claim that there is a life that isn’t. There are choices to be made in how we live out our faith. And some of those choices reveal whether we are indeed “rooted and grounded in love” or not.
A read through the text for this week shows us that a primary sign of the gospel-worthy life is unity. This isn’t so much an individual check list of dos and don’ts, but a plumbline by which we measure the health of the whole body. We retain our individuality, of course, as a variety of gifts are needed. But it is the unity of the body that reveals the gospel at work in and among us. “See how those Christians love one another.”
So how can we celebrate the unity of the body as we worship this week? What shared mission efforts can you lift up? What corporate decisions can you celebrate? What shared moments of fellowship or support have there been? What relationship healing experiences brought the body closer together? What risks have been taken in confidence because of the deep trust in one another?
“We Are One in the Spirit” might be a theme song for this week. Prayers might be for a sense of belonging together, even as we stay open to others seeking a fellowship to join.
Of course, the oneness of the body is not just when the church gathers together in the building. What signs of belonging together, of supporting one another can you identify that take place beyond the walls? What invitations can be issued that allow the church to be in support—prayer support, financial support, physical support—of members of the body as they seek to live out their call in the world? How can you be “one in the Spirit”?
This text also has a list of various roles in the life of the church. Maybe this is time—yes, even in the summer—to have a ministry fair. Help each person find a place in the body as you strive for unity and growth. Remember, it is the whole community of faith that is called to live a life worthy.
Rev. Dr. Derek Weber, Director of Preaching Ministries, served churches in Indiana and Arkansas and the British Methodist Church. His PhD is from University of Edinburgh in preaching and media. He has taught preaching in seminary and conference settings for more than 20 years.