One Team, Many Positions

St. Paul, in his letters, talks about the Body of Christ.  For example:

"Now in regard to spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be unaware. You know how, when you were pagans, you were constantly attracted and led away to mute idols. Therefore, I tell you that nobody speaking by the spirit of God says, “Jesus be accursed.” And no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit.  

There are different kinds of spiritual gifts but the same Spirit; there are different forms of service but the same Lord; there are different workings but the same God who produces all of them in everyone. To each individual the manifestation of the Spirit is given for some benefit. To one is given through the Spirit the expression of wisdom; to another the expression of knowledge according to the same Spirit; to another faith by the same Spirit; to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit; to another mighty deeds; to another prophecy; to another discernment of spirits; to another varieties of tongues; to another interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit produces all of these, distributing them individually to each person as he wishes. One Body, Many Parts. As a body is one though it has many parts, and all the parts of the body, though many, are one body, so also Christ. For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, slaves or free persons, and we were all given to drink of one Spirit. Now the body is not a single part, but many. If a foot should say, “Because I am not a hand I do not belong to the body,” it does not for this reason belong any less to the body. Or if an ear should say, “Because I am not an eye I do not belong to the body,” it does not for this reason belong any less to the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole body were hearing, where would the sense of smell be? But as it is, God placed the parts, each one of them, in the body as he intended. If they were all one part, where would the body be? But as it is, there are many parts, yet one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, “I do not need you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I do not need you.”

Indeed, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are all the more necessary, and those parts of the body that we consider less honorable we surround with greater honor, and our less presentable parts are treated with greater propriety, whereas our more presentable parts do not need this. But God has so constructed the body as to give greater honor to a part that is without it, so that there may be no division in the body, but that the parts may have the same concern for one another. If [one] part suffers, all the parts suffer with it; if one part is honored, all the parts share its joy.


Now you are Christ’s body, and individually parts of it. Some people God has designated in the church to be, first, apostles; second, prophets; third, teachers; then, mighty deeds; then, gifts of healing, assistance, administration, and varieties of tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work mighty deeds? Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret? (1 Corinthians 1-30)
 
Here is a modern twist to St. Paul’s Body of Christ.

 

 

Football Position:
Center: The Spiritual Center of God’s Team is a great defender of the faith and can stand toe to toe with anyone.  He or she is not afraid to be known as a Christian.
 
Quarterback:
 The quarterback of God’s team is a great thinker.  He or she is able to view the whole field and come up with great ways to get God’s plan accomplished.
 
Wide Receivers: The wide receivers are people who are able to carry God’s plan to the world.  They are able to go around distractions and other obstacles.
 
Running Back: The running back on God’s team is a determined person who is ready and willing to run with God’s plan.  He or she is not afraid of the obstacles in front of them.
 
Offensive Line: God’s team is also composed of a great offensive line and these are people who are willing to protect the disadvantage, the poor, and anyone smaller than they are.
 
Coach: God enlists the help of coaches to lead His team.  God chooses people who are trusted mentors and who are willing to sacrifice themselves so that others may learn more about God.
 
Water Boy: The water boy or girl maybe the smallest member of the team, but without their life-giving water that they bring to the rest of the team the team could not play.
 
Cheerleaders/Fans: God’s team also needs those people who are willing to encourage others in their roles.  If all we do is tear down each other we will never move God’s plan forward and into the world.  If however we build each other up and trust in the grace of God there is nothing that we cannot do.

Fr Tom Pastorius