When we think of “serving” we almost always think of what we do to help others. However, Jesus gave us four powerful illustrations that teach us how important it is for us to be contributing members of the church, not for the sake of others, but for our own wellbeing. Jesus made it clear that we are all dependent on Him, and also on one another, in many different ways. Paul says being connected is God’s plan for us. The letter to the Romans 12:5 says, “Christ made us one body and individuals who are connected to each other.” Paul also says “in Him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit” (Ephesians 2:22). As parts of a building we all support each other, with Christ being the chief cornerstone. If we’re not vitally connected, carrying our weight in the building, we are left without support ourselves. We need each other. I fill a role and I’m fulfilled as I fill my role!

Jesus teaches us that we’re also a body. Some of us are ears, eyes, toes, hands, feet or any number of other parts or organs of a living body (See 1 Corinthians 12 for this illustration). Paul teaches us that each part is different and has a different function, yet each part is absolutely necessary for the functioning of the whole body. Each individual part is responsible to Christ, the Head, and contributes to the functioning of the whole – that’s service! I need every other part, and every other part needs me! We are all necessary parts if the body of Christ is to function as it should.

The Bible also teaches us that we are vines connected to branch. We are members of a spiritual family. When we fail to serve as we’re created to serve, the body suffers, and we ourselves forfeit the meaning and purpose in life that God has planned for us. If we’re not doing our part as a building we don’t the support ourselves when we need it. If we’re not connected and contributing to the living function of the body we are the ones that pay the price. In a literal body a part that’s not connected to the others usually dies! Vines wither and die if not drawing nourishment from the branch. Family members not loving and living are orphaned or at best prodigals and don’t experience the connectedness God wants for all of His “children.”

“We…though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of each other.” Romans 12:5