From him the whole body, joined together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work. –Ephesians 4:16
Perhaps you’ve read the book Seabiscuit by Laura Hillenbrand or seen the 2003 movie based upon it. The book tells the true story of Seabiscuit, one of the greatest racing horses of the late 1930’s. The story places a spotlight on four main characters: Seabiscuit, the owner, the trainer and the jockey. It’s a tremendous “rags-to-riches” story as the horse goes from mediocrity to glory through the loving care of his handlers.
I found that the most incredible part of the story, however, was not about Seabiscuit alone, but rather the similarity found in all of the four main characters. Each were down and out in some significant way. Each, in their own way, were trying to rise above the challenges that life had presented them. Each, when pulling together, found redemption of sorts and accomplished what was unthinkable alone. They were better together.
As I read this book, I couldn’t help but think about how the main characters paralleled the Christian life.
No Christ-follower can stand alone. Christianity, while requiring an individual’s personal faith commitment, is not an individual faith by nature. Christianity is to be lived out in community, not in isolation. Born out of the Father’s will, accomplished through Jesus’ death and resurrection, empowered and gifted by the Holy Spirit, each Christian has a role to play as part of the Body of Christ. “…The whole body, joined together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself,” Paul writes in Ephesians, Chapter 4.
Together, we rise above our own weaknesses and challenges to become all that God has called us to be. Together, we accomplish more than we could ever dream of on our own. Simply, we’re better together. Perhaps, if we pulled together a little harder–a little more often–we could become more of that shining “city on a hill”; the light that cannot be hidden; the light that Jesus said we were designed to be; the light that Jesus said in response to–people would sit up and take notice. It can happen. Together.
1. Would you say that your Christian life is more individualistic or community oriented? Why?
2. What action can you take to partner with other Christians to help build your faith and to make a difference in your local community? Will you commit to taking that action?
Romans 12:3-8, 1 Corinthians 12:12-27, Ecclesiastes 4:9-12