Reading: 1 Corinthians 1: 10-16
Think about the groups you belong to. Some are social, some are work-based, some are faith-based, some are by interest or hobby. Now, think about why you are a part of each group. Membership and participation are choices, so why do you belong to these groups?
All humans have a need to belong. If we do not feel welcomed or included when we first try something out, we are very unlikely to go again or to remain a part of that group. Once in a while we will give a group a second chance if we see real value or significance in belonging to that group. Our sense of belonging is very important.
Belonging gives a sense of worth, a sense of support, a sense of strength or togetherness. Belonging brings with it a sense of security and a feeling of being loved and cared for. I would guess these are reasons we all belong to groups or the reasons we long to be a part of a group.
In our passage today Paul is addressing a group. But this group is experiencing some disunity and discord. The church in Corinth in identifying with different leaders and this is causing division. Paul is calling them back to the only true leader of the church: Jesus Christ. In reality, Jesus is the only head of the church. All else is secondary to Jesus and His love.
At times, we today allow things to divide us. By “we” I mean the church universal. Christ is what still binds us all together. All Christians believe in one God and in Jesus resurrected and alive. Unity in the church universal is needed more today than at almost any time in our history. May we as part of the global church follow Paul’s advice and go forth hand in hand with all brothers and sisters in Christ, seeking to make God and His love known in all places.
This must of course begin in each of our own churches. We must be groups that anyone can be a part of. And by ‘anyone’ I do mean anyone. So I ask, can anyone from your community walk into your church and feel welcomed, included, loved? Anyone? If our answer is not an honest and robust “YES!” then we have work to do. Jesus began the church based on love and acceptance of all. May we be Christ-like in this practice too.