Ever feel like a square peg in a round church? Ever feel like the person you were, are now or are becoming, doesn’t “fit” in Christian community? Is this a sign you’re weird or unwanted or outside the faith? Should you give up?
You might not fit, but you’re not meant to. Church is the only place in the whole world, where everyone belongs. We’re meant to be a ridiculous, crazy mixture – that’s what sets us apart. When you’re not there, a vital part is missing. However you see yourself, when you’re absent, the church is less.
You might not fit, but you belong. Even if you’re completely different to the others in your church community. Jesus has plans for you and they won’t necessarily look the way other people’s do. Your struggles might be different: but you’re not alone in having them.
You might not fit, but you are loved. People are clumsy: you, me, everyone. Sometimes we bruise when we’re trying to hug. Sometimes we say stupid things; or don’t speak when we ought to. Relationships are hard and we make mistakes. But they’re life.
You might not fit, but church is home. Maybe you were brought up there – and you look like the others. Maybe you’re new – and not sure where everything’s kept. Wherever you’ve come from, how ever long you’ve been away, your room stays ready. The head of the house says welcome. And you belong.
Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.
Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body.
The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.
Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.
1 Cor 12: 12-28