The Sandwich

Wednesday, January 11, 2023
Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Praise ye the Triune God"1 (Lyrics)

Hebrews 10:24-25 – And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another — and all the more as you see the Day approaching. (NIV)

1 Corinthians 12:7 – Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. (NIV)

First came two pieces of freshly baked bread. One slice was spread with a bit of butter, the other with a hint of mayonnaise. Next, thinly sliced turkey was layered, then tomato. Cucumber adorned the tomato. Extra-old white cheese topped the cucumber and finally romaine lettuce for the crown. As I placed the second slice of bread on top of my delicious sandwich, I was reminded of the body of Christ.

Every single piece which was used to make up my sandwich is delicious and good by itself. But when I put them all together into one marvellous, munchable lunch, their flavours blended beautifully, complementing and bringing the best out of each one.

Likewise, God has blessed each one of His children with at least one spiritual gift. Each one of the gifts is good in itself, as well as valuable to His kingdom. Each one is given to be an encouragement not only to the bearer of the gift but also to others within the Body, or church of Christ. It is only as our gifts work and flow together that the common good of all is achieved.

When the COVID-19 virus raised its ugly head and travelled worldwide, striking down so many and leaving many with ongoing, lingering disabilities, many things were shut down for the safety of all. This included, out of necessity, the churches. The Body had to stay home and watch services on television or over the Internet. Some did and some chose not to. Over the past three years, many became accustomed to not fellowshipping with others and even found that they really didn't miss it that much. Others became disillusioned with the Body, as their pastors or study groups did not stay in touch, and they felt abandoned and alone. Thus, when the churches were allowed to reopen, many chose not to return to fellowship, for one reason or another.

But God calls us not to neglect, not to give up meeting together for the encouragement of one another, that we might spur one another on to love and good deeds and use our gifts for the common good. For as we do so, the Body shines so much more brightly and strongly than when each of us remains in our own small corner, even though we may still be diligently working for God.

So, this week, as the day of worship approaches, if you have been one who has chosen not to go back to our reopened churches, reconsider and take to heart and put into action the words in today's passages from Hebrews and 1 Corinthians.

Prayer: Lord God, You gave us each spiritual gifts and called us together as the body of Christ. May we thus remember not to give up meeting together, and all the more as we see the Day of the Lord approaching. In Christ's name, we ask. Amen.

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About the author:

Lynne Phipps <lynnephippsatlin@gmail.com>
Atlin, British Columbia, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Amen, Lynne. I’ve seen all of that, even in our little, small church.


    Love it!
    A finger wag for me.
    Keep it up!


    Good word, Lynne! Those are my feelings, exactly.
    Well said.


    Great post, Lynne! So many need this encouragement and may they read your words. God bless!


    I love the image of the sandwich and how much better each single item is when put with the others. We will keep it in mind for our women’s events.


    Thanks for this encouraging devotional! Covid and flu are hitting our area. RSV is also attacking small children! May the Lord heal all who are I’ll! Blessings.


    Lynne, your beautifully written encouragement and admonition is an example of how God’s spirit is using your gift of writing to spur us to come back to the fold for the common good and as a local body of fellowship into the “rock tumbler” of church. Thank you.


    Good morning, Lynne,
    WOW. I would enjoy your sandwich and definitely enjoyed your message.
    You have a wonderful way of unfolding the message you would like to offer. Non-judgmental. Non pushy. Food for thought. Thank you. May you continue to encourage and inspire our good parts with your sharing of your faith. Many blessings for 2023.


    HI Lynne…What a great idea you have given me today! I will be tucking away this ‘sandwich’ for use in a children’s story someday, or even when I am called upon to take a worship service at our local LTC centres. Thank you!
    Your ideas/analogies always inspire me, and may you continue to be blessed.
    Thanks again.
    (ON)


    Thanks, Lynne, for another of your very interesting and delightful writings. That sandwich sounded delicious and made me feel hungry. Nowadays people need to get “hungry” to be back together at church. Since this pandemic time when people were able to stay home and just go online to view the service it seems they are not eager to get back to attending the church and socializing in person. Our church attendance has decreased quite a bit and I pray people will start coming back and we can be together praising our Lord. Blessings for these special devotional writings you do.


    Well said!
    Although our congregation has lost several families during this long hiatus, we have been fortunate to also gain a few new ones as the church reopened. Zoom church has also allowed the services to be viewed by people as far away as Sweden and South Africa. Quite a surprise for our tiny rural congregation!
    I worry about those that have drifted away as the ‘habit’ of Sunday worship has been lost. Why aren’t they drawn back by the need to worship with their church family? What can we do to encourage them? We have worked hard to maintain connections, but is it easier to watch a TV church in your pj’s with a cup of tea? Has something else replaced church in that time slot? Only God knows the answer, but your encouraging devotion this morning may nudge a few more back into the pews! Thank you.


    Very well done – thanks.


    Thank you, Lynne. This is a much-needed message right now.


    Loved your words today! Honestly, I think this should be shared from every pulpit!! Excellent! Thank you!
    Blessings.


    Hello Lynne,
    Thank you for this solid message and call to “reconsider”. May the Holy Spirit speak to many hearts as they read the devotional and draw them back to Him.
    Blessings.

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