June 13, 2024

In third grade, I learned multiplication. Truth be told, I found it quite easy. As proof, I was the third kid in my class to complete the multiplication flash cards in one minute. And the only reason I finished third out of roughly twenty kids is because I had been sick the day prior. At least, that is what I like to tell myself. 😉

However, my math arrogance quickly dissipated when my teacher moved on to the antithesis of multiplication—the dreaded division. Why was it so easy to combine numbers, but so painful to divide them?

I find a similar sentiment in life in general. Humans much prefer to combine things, but find division quite painful. We rejoice at a wedding ceremony, yet rightly cry over divorce. We love going to a music festival filled with great bands, yet mourn when our favorite band breaks up. We have patriotic pride in the fact we are the United States of America, yet we feel negatively about the current political turmoil and cultural fracturing of our nation.

Unity feels so much better than disunity. That's why God calls His Church to live unified in Christ.

United in Christ

Last week, we kicked off a new blog series entitled One Body with an introductory post about love because "love" was the context for the main passage of this series. But last week was like Week Zero to our series. This week, we truly get going by diving into our first topic from 1 Corinthians 12:12-26, the concept of unity, which we see so clearly in verses 12 & 13...

United • Riverwood Church

For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit.

1 Corinthians 12:12-13 (ESV)

One of my fellow Exchangites has a daughter my age. She just suffered a stroke less than a month ago. I had the chance to ask him last week how she was doing. Overall, her recovery is going well. The most difficult thing right now is her left side doesn't want to fully cooperate. Her leg doesn't want to bend when she walks, and her arm wants to be permanently bent in front of her stomach with her hand clenched upwards. In other words, her body doesn't want to operate in a unified manner.

That is Paul's point in verses 12 and 13. A healthy body has various parts, but those parts need to be unified, working together. Any disunity brings pain. If you've ever gone through a church split, you know what Paul is talking about! The church is the Body of Christ. And each member of that body is to operate in unity with one another.

Next week, we'll see how unity does not mean uniformity. Until then, ask yourself: "What can I do for the sake of unity within Riverwood and the entire Body of Christ this week?"

Erin Bird Lead Pastor - Riverwood Church

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Riverwood Church, Waverly Iowa

We are on a mission to help people love like Jesus loved and live like Jesus lived.

It doesn't matter to us if you:

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