Unity in diversity

By Stanley Lee

With the World Cup tournament in full motion, there’s only one word in many people’s mind now: Football. Being a Christian and football fan, I observe that there are certain parallels between a Christian community and a football team.

For example, no Christian walks alone in his or her faith, just as how nobody can compete alone in a football game. A football team requires 11 players to play different roles for the team to function well. There cannot be 11 strikers or 11 midfielders on the team at the same time, and a goalkeeper cannot play as if he were a striker. Each player fulfills his role on the field according to his skills.

Similarly, a Christian community would contain teachers, pastors, evangelists, counselors, and a variety of other roles. As we build each other up in a Christian community, we press on and persevere towards the ultimate goal, which is to complete the marathon and receive the Crown of Life from our Lord Jesus. Paul reminded us that as the body of Christ, we are made up of many parts with each of us having different roles according to the gifts and talents that He has given us. In 1 Corinthians 12:12-20, he wrote:

“Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many. Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body.”

There is unity in diversity in the body of Christ. Although we are diverse in our roles, we remain united in being one with Christ.

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