Parts of the body

July 13, 2107


Dear Friends,


 4 For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your  faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead,  do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.

Romans 12:4-8 


This was our devotion tonight at our “XiRho” ceremony at the camp, and it seemed perfect for the day.  Our camp is not that large in terms of a community—-we have only 200 here this week. But the 100 that operate the camp—-from Leaders in Training to Program Heads and  Dining Hall Managers —are each essential for the smooth operation and tranquillity that comes when everyone in the community contributes.


And so it is in the “body of Christ”—-i.e. His invisible church. Each of us is unique and each holds special skills and gifts that others don’t possess.  Some of us have many talents, some few, and some (such as me) only one.  But it does not matter whether we are multi-talented or simple, we all are able to contribute to the work of the Kingdom of God by using the gifts and  talents and jobs THAT HE GAVE US to glorify Him… and stop trying to diminish the gift and jobs of others.  


Christ was clear, the greatest in the body of Christ is the one the serves the others—-not the one that leads the others.  My task at the camp is to be the Director and Leader, but the greatest one here, the one that is celebrated in God’s eyes and in His Kingdom, is the hidden one that secretly serves others all the times and never seeks, receives or requires recognition or applaud.


I have spent the past 42 summers at camp—42 summers!  But I am quite certain that the greatest pleasure and satisfaction I ever had was serving as a cabin counselor for six campers 42 years ago.  My tasks were simple, I was at the bottom of the organizational totem pole, but no one had a grander time than I did at camp.  I was unknown to the leadership, unrecognized at ceremonies and totally obscure to the camp director; but by pouring my life, talent and time into my campers I was filled up, I increased and I was never in need of encouragement or compliments—-it was truly a glimpse of what living in His Kingdom must be all about.


But am I serving Him as sincerely and simply today?





Dean Barley

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