Ephesians 4: 4-7; 11-13
There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it...
So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
Have you ever heard this comment made about a person: "They think they are God's gift..." It's normally referring to someone who has an over-inflated ego or sense of self-importance. However, when Paul is talking about unity and maturity within the church, he tells us that, not only does God give each of us spiritual gifts, but that people themselves are actually His gifts to the church. You are God's gift to me. All that you are and carry is a gift from the Father to CCV. In fact, you are His gift to your entire community.
As we recognise, call out and celebrate the various gifts in one another we are drawn together in unity. Each one of us is valued and significant. There are no spare parts. No one person dominates and no one is powerless. We are inter-dependent but never codependent. Sadly, it's not uncommon for some people who are drawn to helping others out of compassion to create codependent relationships. As one author notes: "Christians can be unusually susceptible to codependency. Sometimes when attempting to love others as Christ has commanded us, we slip into enabling behaviors that lead to codependent relationships." (JR Lee) The caregiver keeps pouring into the needy person for years without any reciprocation. Both parties receive a payoff from such a dysfunctional relationship, yet neither fully matures, flourishes or becomes relationally healthy.
The goal in relationships is never that people would be dependent on us. That actually creates a form of idolatry where we assume the role of saviour in the other person's life. Rather, we should be constantly pointing beyond ourselves to Jesus. He is the centre of our attention because in Him alone "...are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge." (Col 2: 3) Our longing is not for others to be tethered to us, but that they would surpass us and be released into their destiny to make history. Therefore, there comes a point where, instead of pouring into them, we must help them pour themselves out, that they would "...become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ." (v. 13)
Instead of looking to each other for unity, healing or significance, we look beyond each other to all that God has made available to us in Christ. He alone is our cornerstone, our healer, our source and our saviour.
We look forward to seeing you this Sunday at 9.30 am, 11.30 am and 7.00 pm.