1 Corinthians 12:11-13 – All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines. The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body — whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free — and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. (NIV)
I ask the children what I would need to make a body. It varies with the group. Some think of the easy things — like legs, hands, eyes, etc. Others come up with more detail — blood, brain, heart, skin, etc. As children tell me a part, I ask them to become that part of the body, and then have the different parts of the body stand together.
Then I ask the skin to trade places with the eyes, the feet with the heart, and the brain with the stomach. Then I ask if the skin is able to do the job of the eyes for the body. "Eyes, can you cover the body and protect the insides? Heart, can you walk for the body?" If I am lucky I get, "No!" and some laughter.
Next I ask the heart to go and stand by the pulpit, the skin by the choir, the eyes by the door, and the feet by the picture window. Then I ask, "Are you still a body?" Again, if I am lucky, they will say, "No."
"What do you have to do to be the body again?"
"Get back together."
"Okay, on the count of three become the body again."
Once my "body" has come back together, we talk about how the church is just like the body we built. Each person in the church is important, and has a job to do. We are all different: some make music, some read scripture, some make food, some teach, and some learn. If the church is spread out like the body, it cannot work either. We, the church, need to come together, just as the children did. We need to work together, share our different gifts and skills, and, most of all, support each other.
Prayer: Help us, Lord, to celebrate our different gifts and skills. Help us to work together as one body, one family, and one church. Remind us that we are not complete if one of our number is missing, and help us to reach out to them. Amen.