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  • Writer's picturePatty

I'm the King of the Yard!

Read: 1 Corinthians 12:5; 1 Corinthians 12:11-27; 1 Corinthians 3:5-10

There's something very special about June. Yes, I know that earlier in the spring, we were treated to the loveliness from the tulips and lilacs. They surely display the handiwork of God, but June brings on such a beautiful variety that isn't ordinarily bruised by either frost or excessive heat. Right now, we are enjoying roses, peonies and even a few luscious vine ripened strawberries. Such gifts from our Creator/Redeemer!

After searching for ripe strawberries in their small raised bed this morning, a thought started turning over in my mind. What if the plants acted and reacted to one another the way we sometimes do?

Perhaps the conversation would sound something like this:

The hedge rose could say to the little rose bush "You're short. People have to look low in order to see you. I climb high and straight. I'm the king of the yard." The Magic Rose could say to the lilac: "My bush is filled with little roses, and after this group dries up, I will flourish again. You have already bloomed and are done. You're one and done. I'm the king of the yard."

The strawberry plants could gloat to the apple tree: “I'm already bringing joy with my sweet red berries. Look at you. Your apples are smaller than some of my sweet berries. Who knows if they'll fall off or be eaten by birds. I'm the king of the yard."

The peony could say to all the plants: “look at me, my blossoms are lush and larger than any other growing thing in the yard. People see me, and don't look at any other plant or tree. No one has to carefully fuss over me since I'm not easily broken. Why, I even have a fragrance along with all my beauty. Surely, I'm the king of the yard."

I know, those are silly thoughts, but they are a picture of the trap we as Jesus' family members must avoid. Paul gives us the same reminder in 1 Corinthians 12. What a beautiful chapter this is. One that reminds us that we who belong to Jesus are part of His body. 1 Corinthians 12:13 emphasizes that no matter our earthly status, we all have the Holy Spirit and belong to Jesus. The beauty of God's family is displayed through the variety of gifts He has given us and the diverse ways they are manifested through our lives. Some gifts appear lush and out front. Some are manifested behind the scenes, but according to the Lord, each is needed.

I love the humor Paul shares through his words concerning the parts of the body. Every part is needed for the proper functioning of the church, and no part of the human body can lord it over another. Both the church and the human body's individual parts are interdependent. When Paul wrote his epistles, there were many class distinctions and millions of slaves. Imagine it. A master and slave might be part of the same body. They would serve together in the church. Both using their gifts to build up their brothers and sisters and display God's wisdom to a watching world. There are no kings or queens in the church. In fact, Paul reminds us that those who appear to be weaker are indispensable. No superiority here; rather, we are to bestow honor on one another. Since we belong to each other, we both rejoice and ache when there is joy and sadness experienced in one another's lives.

In 1 Corinthians 3:5-10, Paul shows the Corinthians how the body should look within their own church. Early in 1 Corinthians 3, Paul rebuked the Corinthians for the fleshly way they were acting. The church had divisions. The people were looking at men as being greater than one another. They were boasting that they were following particular men. That was not how it was to be. In 1 Corinthians 3:5-10, Paul reminded them that he and Apollos were only servants through whom God's work was done. What each did differed. That's how it was meant to be since it was God Who ultimately did the work. He even asked the question. Who is Paul, and who is Apollos? Not the kings of the church! No, they were simply servants through whom the Corinthians believed.

Each member of the body is one with the others. God is the One to be lauded because it is the Lord Who alone is King. In 1 Corinthians 1:26-31, Paul reminds us that often God chooses those the world would not, to belong to His family. He displays His gifts through people who might never know one another except that God put them together. What a collection of people we are. Each of us needing His grace and having the opportunity to display the gift He has given us. What does He ask in return? Simply that we be faithful, 1 Corinthians 4:2, and He gives us His strength for that too.

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