Paul’s concluding greeting in his letters are quite a phenomenon particularly in the letter to the church at Corinth, in which he greeted a couple dozen or more individual people. For someone of Paul’s clout it may seem strange that he would take the time to do such a trivial thing as greeting people, some seemingly so insignificant. However I believe the reason was that he truly understood the power of unity. He wanted to let everyone know they were important. Both to him, and to God, and he couldn’t do what he did without them. It was a team effort
In the NBA finals that went on to reveal the Raptors as the undisputed 2019 champions, most of us understand that Kawhi Leonard made it happen. What with a record setting series, and career playoff highs, only behind Jordan and LeBron. But was it all because of one man? Not at all, basketball, like most sports are team sports, one man can’t win alone, it takes a team. That’s in the year following Kawhi’s departure, the Raptors seemed undefeatable, as they were poised among the top 3 contenders in the regular season at any given time during this past year.
This is all to say, it takes a team to pull great things off.
The body of Christ is so much more bonded than what we see here, yet learning from these natural examples such as sports teams can be so instructive for us.
The other aspect to the unity that can propel a team to success that we can’t forget is that of humility.
Often times whenever I see a team that pushes through stagnancy, or beyond projected expectations, it’s because everyone is working together. No longer, is it the captain’s show, or the goalie, or even the coach. It’s because the team sees itself as one force, pulling everyone’s energies to achieve excellence.
Interestingly though, the lesson of unity and humility is one that seems fleeting and often cannot be fully grasped by any one team. That is why it is a rare phenomenon for a team to stay the reigning champion for very long. Pretty soon, the party gets broken up, as the star requires more money, or something along that line, where people are no longer satisfied, and they stop thinking about the team but themselves.
When I think of the body of Christ at the church that God has blessed me to serve, Christian Centre Church, I think of them as an example of a church that is truly a team working solidly to be God’s hands and feet, whilst selflessly caring for each other. And a recent example comes to mind to illustrate this.
Last week, as we were meeting, we discovered that one of our church members, had contracted Covid-19 virus. I am still amazed at the love and care that the family of God showed to this individual and their family. Instead of shunning them or offering platitudes, a somewhat co-ordinated team of volunteers rose up to the occasion to serve this family. They provided food for the individual, funds to weather the storm, and separate shelter for their unaffected dependents.
In fact, so comprehensive was the care that the pastoral team (as paid clergy) had little to do. This is because these individuals saw themselves more no different than the ailing member. Indeed they felt familial ties with this person, and acted accordingly, saying it was no big deal.
And that seems to ring true doesn’t it? Because it shouldn’t be a big deal to help family. The more we see each of us as part of the other in Christ, then can we take on each other’s burdens, and with humility of heart, help each other as needed.
- Pastor Olu Jegede