Yesterday’s Scripture passage from St. Paul’s Letter to the Corinthians (12:12-30) struck me especially. You know the one, we are all members of the one body, the Body of Christ, the Church. There are no more separations between Jews and Gentiles, slaves and free. We are all members of the same body. Further, all parts of the body, can not be identical and are all vital to the life of the Body. The ear and the eye are different. Neither is wrong or contemptible, both (all) are necessary for the life of the Body. At least this is my recollection of the words that were read in that lesson yesterday.
What struck me about this passage at this time is the idea that all (“ALL”) parts of the Body of Christ which is the Church are necessary for the life of the Church. “All?” Does this mean those branches of the Church that some think are wrong, or perhaps are even abominations? Does the Northern Cone of the Anglican Communion need, have necessity of, the Southern Cone? And, does the Southern Cone have necessity of the Northern Cone? Evidently, from what Paul wrote, we do.
Are the gay and lesbian faithful members of the Church, even the ordained, even the gay and lesbian bishops “necessary” for the Church? Evidently, from what Paul wrote, they are. They are part of the “All.”
Are those who read the Bible literally just as needed as those who interpret the Bible as metaphor and poetry? Evidently they are. And, those other denominations, even those that some have referred to as sects? Those who worship on Saturday, of Friday? The Mormons? Evidently we are all necessary for the life of the Church.
But, but… I want to categorize and niche people. It makes it so convenient to name the Other as less. Okay, I really try not to categorize and put others in little boxes, but I know that the temptation is there. Good old Black or White. I think that guys are especially prone to divide people into such categories. What I heard Lucy read in church yesterday reminds me that Paul argued against such handy categorizing. I’m working on it.