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United Diversity in Christ

Our Daily Bread Ministries / Various Hosts
The Truth Network Radio
April 23, 2024 8:00 pm

United Diversity in Christ

Our Daily Bread Ministries / Various Hosts

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April 23, 2024 8:00 pm

In his essay “Service and the Spectrum,” Professor Daniel Bowman Jr. writes of the difficulty of navigating decisions about how to serve his church as an autistic person. He explains, “Autistic people have to forge a new path forward every single time, a unique path that takes into account . . . mental, emotional, and physical energy . . . alone/recharging time; sensory inputs and comfort level . . . time of day; whether or not we’re being valued for our strengths and accommodated for our needs rather than excluded for perceived deficits; and much more.” For many people, Bowman writes, such decisions, “while reorienting people’s time and energy, likely will not undo them. Those same decisions might well undo me.”

Bowman believes that the vision of mutuality Paul describes in 1 Corinthians 12 could be a healing solution. There, Paul describes God uniquely gifting each of His people for “the common good” (vv. 4-7). Each is an indispensable member of Christ’s body (v. 22). When churches come to understand each person’s unique, God-given wiring and gifting, instead of pressuring everyone to help out in the same way, they can support their members to serve in ways that fit their giftings.

In this way, each person can find flourishing and wholeness, secure in their valued place in Christ’s body (v. 26).

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Hi there, and welcome to today's encouragement from Our Daily Bread. Our reading, titled United Diversity in Christ, was written by Monica LaRose. In his essay, Service and the Spectrum, Professor Daniel Bowman Jr. writes of the difficulty of navigating decisions about how to serve his church as an autistic person.

He explains, Autistic people have to forge a new path forward every single time a unique path that takes into account mental, emotional, and physical energy, alone and recharging time, sensory inputs and comfort level, time of day. Whether or not we're being valued for our strengths and accommodated for our needs rather than excluded for perceived deficits and much more. For many people, Bowman writes, such decisions, while reorienting people's time and energy, likely will not undo them.

Those same decisions might well undo me. Bowman believes that the vision of mutuality Paul describes in 1 Corinthians 12 could be a healing solution. There, in verses 4 through 6, Paul describes God uniquely gifting each of his people for the common good. Each is an indispensable member of Christ's body. When churches come to understand each person's unique God-given wiring and gifting, instead of pressuring everyone to help in the same way, they can support their members to serve in ways that fit their giftings. In this way, each person can find flourishing and wholeness and be secure in their valued place in Christ's body.

Today's Our Daily Bread devotional scripture reading is from 1 Corinthians chapter 12, verses 12 through 14 and 21 through 27. 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 picking up with verse 21, the eye cannot say to the hand, I don't need you, and the head cannot say to the feet, I don't need you. On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor, and the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other.

If one part suffers, every part suffers with it. If one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.

Let's pray. Dear God, thank you for creating us all uniquely. Help us to be respectful of each other's individual traits, whether they are viewed as limitations or special talents. May we value every member of Christ's body. It's in Jesus' name we pray. Amen. Thanks for listening today. My name is Toni Collier, and today's encouragement was provided by Our Daily Bread Ministries.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-04-23 21:31:31 / 2024-04-23 21:33:12 / 2

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