The apostle Paul does not tell us to be like the body of Christ, but that “you are the body of Christ and each one of you is a part of it” (1 Corinthians 12:27). The apostle Peter echoes Paul’s teaching that “you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God” (1 Peter 2: 9a). It is instructive that Peter does not refer to a chosen person, a single priest, or an individual citizen. To follow Jesus is to be part of a community.
The book of Hebrews gives us advice on how to build such a community.
In our attitude toward God,
- let us revere the Holy God (4:1)
- let us draw near to God with a sincere heart (10: 22)
- let us approach the throne of grace with confidence (4:16)
- let us be thankful (12:28)
- let us offer to God a sacrifice of praise (13:15)
In our relationship with one another,
- let us spur one another on toward love and good deeds (10:24)
- let us encourage one another (10:25)
Along the spiritual journey,
- let us press on to maturity (6:1)
- let us run with perseverance (12:2)
As witnesses to the outsiders,
- let us hold firmly to the faith we profess (4:14)
- let us hold to the hope we profess (10:23)
Pause and reflect on these biblical truths. Let us join hands and build our community as a place where members are able to make use of their gifts and feel validated about their abilities; as a place where members respect, appreciate, and celebrate their differences; as a place where members are delighted to use their talents to serve one another; and as a place where members treasure their sense of belonging and grow and support one another.