1 Corinthians 12:26 (NLT) says, “If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, and if one part is honored,
all the parts are glad.” Remember (or learn for the first time!) that the original audience of this text was all the congregations in a city. This extended analogy for Jesus’ John 17 prayer can only hold true if the various parts of the city church are connected to one another. Isolated parts don’t know when others are suffering or when they’re rejoicing. Life is so much richer when we’re connected. Let alone the reality that disconnected limbs have little strength, whereas a fully functional body can accomplish amazing feats.
I personally experienced the benefits of being well connected this last week as my father was hospitalized, died, and was buried, all in the span of 10 days. He had experienced at least a half dozen trips to the hospital this year, so another one was no surprise. But the disease that finally took his life did come as a surprise. The many expressions of love and support and the countless prayers from so many truly lifted our burdens as a family. And an extra word of thanks is in order to my colleagues in J17 Ministries, Karen and Tasha, who not only carried the entire load of ministry during a busy week, but brought us meals as well.
The rich reality of Body life is just as true on the celebration side. For instance, Tucson’s second generation African refugee congregation, Goshen International Church, is hosting a celebration on August 25 as they now have their own facility. You might remember that a few months ago they were the focus of our prayers when a fire knocked them out of their leased facility. How good God is, all the time!
And how much better life is when we know one another well enough to rejoice with those who rejoice as well as bear the burdens of those who are facing challenges.
Dave Drum, Founder