In the third sermon on the theme of “What is church for?”, Melissa talked about God’s countercultural vision of hierarchy demonstrated by Paul’s body metaphor in 1 Corinthians 12: 14-31.
Since antiquity, the institutions of government and the economy have a distinct continuity: they have created social, political, and economic hierarchies that we have often failed to question, and accepted that a permanent underclass must exist to serve the needs of their “betters” in society. If you are a minority and/or in the impoverished lower-classes and suffering from low wages, police persecution, and few academic opportunities, the world teaches us to that this situation is a natural state, inextricable from the fabric of our lives, resulting from our lack of our own hard work, intelligence, or moral character.
Paul reminds us that “the members of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable” to the function of the whole body and deserve elevated honor and dignity. Melissa invites us to through this metaphor to envision church and worship as ways to use the special gifts that God has given each of us to speak the truth about God’s great love and value of all people regardless of how the world treats them. Just as Jesus spoke the truth to the powerful even unto death, so must we speak the truth as a way to remind others and ourselves of God’s countercultural idea of hierarchy, where all are loved and honored equally within one interconnected body.