“For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jew or Greeks, slave or free—and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.” 1 Corinthians 12:12-13
Sometimes for my personal devotion I just won’t read the one I get in my email every day. Sometimes I just open the Bible to see what shows up and this morning I randomly opened up my Bible and read this passage, this vision of what it means to be the church.
This metaphor of the church as a body with many members has great appeal because so often we might feel that our part in the body is insignificant or unimportant. But in the body of Christ, we all have an important role and our gifts and talents are needed. It kind of reminds me when I graduated Seminary, me and many of my closest friends went back for a learning event that is kind of like the Seminary’s version of Homecoming. We met with our favorite professor who so encouraged us during our time at the Seminary and many of my friends were pondering going on to further academic work or even a doctorate. I was not one of those people. As we met with this professor, he talked to each one of my friends about things they should be reading and keeping up on and even possible places to go for their coursework. When he got to me, he said, “Brad, remember, the church needs really good pastors too and here is what you could do to continue to help you be a good pastor.” The body of Christ takes and needs all kinds.
But here is the thing about the body: all the member of my body are important, from the arm to the pinky toe to my eyebrows. But if I don’t feed the body, if I don’t give it fuel, it will not work properly. Even worse, if I do that for awhile, my body will start to shut down. Personally, I have lots of “reserve” if you will, but the body still needs food. It needs water. It needs its fuel to run.
And the church is not different. In order for the church to function and to fulfill its mission of sharing the Gospel and serving the poor, it needs fuel to run. To function properly. To let each one of its members fulfill its calling and use. We, of course, know that we are inspired by the Holy Spirit which guides us as the body of Christ. But the church, this body, needs fuel, and that fuel is your giving, especially your financial resources. In that regards, our fuel is getting lower. Our tanks are getting empty. Our reserves are too low for comfort.
We are blessed here at Trinity with an abundance of ministry. I am proud to be part of this body of Christ that reaches out into the community, who opens its doors to anyone and everyone, who thinks about the poor and needy, not only those close to home but those who are far away and strangers to us. I am proud of the number of people who use their gifts in ways both seen and unseen. I am proud that our building is in use almost every day, providing a place for fellowship, service, ministry, and fun to people of all ages. As people are wont to tell me when I am out and about, “You all at Trinity do A LOT!” That’s pretty cool.
However, we need fuel to keep it all going. We need your financial resources. We need your contributions. Without them, we deplete the body of Christ of its ability to function fully. If you have been paying attention to the financial reports in your Good News you may have noticed that we have been in the red since May. Frankly, if it wasn’t for some generous donations from the Women of Trinity, we would be in a lot worse shape than we are now. They are one example of sharing their gifts in order to help the body.
We need your gifts now as well. We need your gifts so that we can keep the body strong and healthy. We need your gifts so that we can continue to not only remain strong, but continue to grow in ministry and in service to our community and the world at large.
Each dollar you give is important and valued. Each second you give in serving the Lord is appreciated. Each member of this body of Christ we call Trinity Lutheran Church is a blessing. I pray that you will prayerfully consider fueling this body of Christ so that we can continue to be a blessing to the community and to each other. Thank you, in advance, for your support and for all you will do to be a blessing to Trinity.