For as in one body we have many members, and not all the members have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually we are members one of another. Romans 12:4-5
Yesterday I participated in a fund-raising barbecue for a mission trip that we are taking in June to Chiapas in Mexico. Our goal is to raise at least $5000 to go towards construction of the new multi-purpose building at INESIN. The barbecue was held right outside Walmart in one of the small towns here in Missouri, and being from a much larger town I marveled at the relaxed standards for food sales. We could never get away with something like that here in the sanitized suburbs, and frankly I cannot imagine our Walmart allowing a fund raiser barbecue right outside the entrance. But in this particular town everyone knows everyone else and there is a willingness to help whenever need presents itself.
The weather was dreadful! Sandwiched between two warm days, the day of the barbecue was icy cold and windy. I honestly thought that not many people would be interested in stopping long enough to buy food from us – but once again I was surprised; we sold nearly all of the food. There were six of us working the barbecue – three on the grill and three preparing plates, and what I really loved about it was being 1/6 of a synchronised whole. So often I take part in things where people compete to do it all and stand out, but here, one set of hands would produce and hold the plate; another set of hands would scoop out the side dishes; another would add the meat to the plate. Whoever’s hands were free would accept the money and make the change, or catch the plates blowing off the table, or any one of the myriad of small tasks that one set of hands could not handle, but six sets could. There were no assigned tasks; we just did whatever presented itself as needing to be done. Nothing stood out; no one person stood out, but at the end of it all, working together, we accomplished something very special.
This, for me, demonstrated better than anything else the body of Christ working together to do God’s work in the world. Holding an open bun while someone else added a brat to it seemed somehow sacred because it was such a small thing to do; it was an action that demanded no attention or recognition – yet ultimately it was an action that went toward the construction of a new building in Mexico. Paul said in his letter to the Romans, “so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually we are members one of another;” yesterday, it seemed as though we got it – we really got it, and this is exactly why I choose to follow Christ – for those precious moments when we get it.