I’ve got a question for you guys this morning. If I was to tell you I wanted to serve you eggs, flour, baking soda, salt, baking powder, water, sugar, and cocoa, how many of you would jump up and say yes?
What if I was to tell you I had a chocolate cake? Would any of you be interested then?
Has anybody seen one of these before? Your mom and dad may have one in the kitchen. This is a recipe book, and a recipe book is filled with directions on how to cook everything from fried chicken to pancakes to chocolate cake. For example, if I wanted to make a chocolate cake, I would need to combine just the right amounts of eggs, flour, baking soda, salt, baking powder, water, sugar, and cocoa and bake it at just the right temperature for the right number of minutes. If I leave any ingredient out, or if I put in too much of one thing or not enough of another, the whole recipe falls apart, and we end up with a yucky tasting cake!
This recipe book reminds me of the church. Just like I can take a certain group of ingredients to make a coffee cake or a green bean casserole, God takes us – his ingredients – and puts us in the right place at the right time so that we can form a church. You can’t make a cake with just eggs and sugar, can you? And you can’t have a church with just a preacher and people in the pews. We need music leaders, Sunday School teachers, someone to run the sound board, nursery workers, janitors, and more. Can you think of other ingredients we have in this church?
1 Corinthians 12 describes the church as the body of Christ. Our bodies are made of many parts that have to work together. An ear can’t stop being an ear and learn to taste food or see. It has to perform the function God made it to perform, or else it is useless. It’s the same with us. We all have different gifts, and we need to learn what our role is within the church so we, too, can be useful.
Every church is different, and every ingredient in the church has to be in balance. But if we work together and contribute the talents God has given us, we can make a very sweet church.