I usually write a longer reflection but in the rush and busyness of this week, I’m finding myself writing this at the last minute. I typically have a lot to say but I’m grateful that this passage from 1 Corinthians 12:12-31a says more than I ever could. I invite you to read it and then read it again. Take your time with it. Read it slowly. Make sure to follow Paul’s grammar and logic in its fullness. Pay attention to the connections. Notice what Paul doesn’t say. And after all of that, listen to what he’s saying to you. You, right now, are essential. You, right now, matter to the church. And the church can’t be the body of Christ without you.

For Paul, faith is always a team sport. Rarely does he write about belief in terms of what individuals do or think. Instead, faith is always centered in a community and without that community, faith doesn’t exist. We, I think, don’t speak of faith in that way. We focus on what “I” believe, what “I” think, and what “I” say about God. Faith is personal, private, and ours. But faith, to Paul, finds its fullest expression when we’re with other people. Faith is how we trust that God loves us and how we realize just how important other people are. Faith connects us to God and helps us see how we need other people to do the things we can’t. We need their prayers. We need their attention. We need others to point out the ways we are trapped in sin. And we need others to help us live. Jesus calls us to be his church and that church needs you and me. Because without each other, we can’t truly love the world like Jesus loves us.