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 Corinthians 12:25-27
Before Christmas, Janice and I noticed an infrequent rattle when we drove our beloved, high-milage CR-V. I know a little–very little–about cars, so I peered underneath, looking for anything that was hanging down or obviously loose. Not seeing anything, we continued to drive the vehicle. It seemed okay; it started without fail, shifted okay, and the steering was fine, but the rattle worsened. Previously, the noise happened only when we drove over exceptionally rough roads–though around here, that's a constant–but it soon was happening all the time. Finally, one day, we put the car up on the ramps and took a peak underneath. From this viewpoint, it became apparent where the rattle was coming from: the front struts were shot, and another part (the sway bar link for any who knows what that means) was hanging unconnected on the driver's side.
We don't often think of the struts as being an important part. But they are an essential part of the car's suspension system. When they are in disrepair, they can be a safety hazard–among other things, it causes tires to wear unevenly, and the excess vibration loosens other parts–and is unpleasant for the driver and passengers as well.
Sometimes, we get accustomed to things not working as they should. We plug along content with the things way things are. Sure, there are rattles, but we tune out to the rattle as long as we can still get from point A to point B, and we think everything is fine. But today's passage reminds us that's not true. Our spiritual health is based on how well all the parts are maintained. When one part is worn, in disrepair, or not working to its potential, it impacts the whole.
Every one of us serves a place in Christ's vehicle. Some may be what is seen–the exterior, bumpers, door handles, and quarter panels, but some–like struts–few people see but are essential to the car's operation. Just because they are unseen in no way distracts from their necessity.
God, our Heavenly Mechanic, Master Craftsman, and Engineer, you have made each of us a unique auto part in the grand design. We recognize that just as a car relies on its intricate components working in harmony, so too do we depend on one another. Assemble us into a seamless whole, where no part is overlooked and no bolt rusts in isolation. May our fellowship be the grease that lubricates our interactions, the torque that tightens our bonds. And when the road gets rough, remind us that we're not just auto parts; we're the living, breathing Body of Christ. Amen.