Christian Fiction: As Members of One Body

The chief-usher stormed into the pastor's office without knocking. The pastor shot up from his seat like he saw a ghost, his guest looking back with confusion written all over his face. 

“Bro Victor! What's the problem? Why would you barge in without knocking?" The pastor asked, trying to hide his irritation.  

“I apologize for my crude behavior sir. There's an emergency I'd like you to attend to sir." Turning to the pastor's guest, he clasped his palms and said, “I'm sorry pastor Daniel. I didn't mean to be rude but I believe if pastor doesn't come with me now, we might not have a building for the next service."

A deep furrow appeared on the forehead of his pastor. “What do you mean?" 

“The head of the technical department and the choir master are about to exchange blows." Bro Victor explained, trying hard not to laugh.

“Is this a prank or what?" Pastor Ben asked, noticing the funny look on the face of the brother standing by the door to his office. 

“I wish sir. Their misunderstanding didn't just start today, but I guess both parties cannot take it anymore. Before I came here, they were exchanging words and members of both groups have now faced each other, each trying to vindicate their leaders. I fear they might exchange slaps soon." At this point, Bro Victor couldn't help but let out a small laugh. 

“Wait, how do you expect me to believe you? You're here laughing... This is one of your pranks, right?" Pastor Ben asked, wearing a small frown. 

“Bro Victor, don't tell me you interrupted us in order to prank us? I understand you joke around a lot and all, but interrupting a meeting as important as this is not the right thing to do." Pastor Daniel chipped in. 

“Pastor Daniel, I'm sorry, but I find the situation quiet amusing. Sirs, we're taking too long here. They're about to break chairs as well sir. I thought everything was under control but when I saw two microphones flying in the air, I knew things had gone haywire." Bro Victor explained; this time, with all seriousness.

Pastor Ben was about to speak when they heard shattering noises. The trio raced out of the office, and the sight that greeted them was more of a ruckus then a church environment. Words were thrown alongside church instruments. As Bro Victor had earlier said, some microphones were lying helpless on the church ground. 

Both pastors stood, arms akimbo, eyes out, and mouth hanging loose. Bro Victor stood a few feet away, having a good laugh. The handful of members that were still around all stood watching the scenario play out.

The ruckus continued for another two minutes. Pastor Ben then walked up to the altar, picked up the bell, observed the scene for a few seconds and rang the bell. Almost immediately, everyone stood still with confusion all over their faces. They wondered when the pastor got up there. 

“If I didn't have access to the C of O of this land and if I didn't preach here on this altar this morning, I'd have thought this place was just rented for service and that it's a community hall." He stopped for a while and shook his head. 

All members of the choristers and the technical department stood with their head bowed, while breathing heavily. They couldn't look up at the pastor from where they stood. 

“You know, I've heard of the usual back and forth of your departments and I heard there's been discussions ad nauseam on this matter, and I thought it's been resolved. How y'all allow it fester till the extent of almost exchanging blows is what I'm trying to wrap my head around."

“Usually, I'd want to hear both sides of the story, but with what I met here, I'm not interested. Imagine if a new member walks in and meet y'all fighting after such a heavy service. It only shows the words coming from the altar don't get through to you. They just hang in the air, or maybe y'all just filter what words to hear and chose which to throw into the bin. To say the least, I'm disappointed!"

“The choir department and the technical departments are always at loggerheads, and I've heard someone say the fight will be settled in Heaven. I believe if we tackle it now, the fight can be settled once and for all because we have better things to do in Heaven than fight. Bring out your Bibles, and I want the head of both department to read this scripture for me in unison. 1st Corinthians 12:14-31."

They all searched for their Bibles amongst the scattered hall and flipped through the pages. Both heads of departments picked up two microphones off the floor, and looked up at the pastor, who shook his head, obviously disappointed. 

They read, 
1 Corinthians 12:14-31
“[14]For the body is not one member, but many.
[15]If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?
[16]And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?
[17]If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling?
[18]But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.
[19]And if they were all one member, where were the body?
[20]But now are they many members, yet but one body.
[21]And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you.
[22]Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary:
[23]And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness.
[24]For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked:
[25]That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.
[26]And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.
[27]Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.
[28]And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.
[29]Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles?
[30]Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?
[31]But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way."

Pastor Ben sighed and shook his head for the third time, scanning the faces of the workers of his parish. They looked remorseful, all with their heads faced down. “I believe the verse is explanatory enough, and I'm just going to expatiate with few words."

“The choristers think they can do without the technical department and vice versa. What you mean is, as the body of workers, using Apostle Paul's comparison with the human body, then the hands or legs are not important, and the body can properly function without the other parts of the body. Y'all cannot live in harmony as one body. Hmmm. Imagine the hand decides it doesn't want to be a part of the body, do you think that person can function effectively? Ask those who are differently abled in one part of the body or the other, even if all they have missing is just one ear, they will tell you they don't feel complete, because they know they're missing something. Every part of the body is very important, even to the very hairs above the eyelids. None is more important than the other and the absence of one is detrimental to the other parts because there'll definitely be a sign that something is missing from the body."

“Let it be known today that no part of the body is more important than the other. Pastors, Teachers, Evangelists, the choristers, the media team, even the sanitation team! They're mostly looked down on in the church because other departments believe they do the dirty work. Meanwhile, if they do not clean the church, you won't be able to sit in a dirty environment. Do not think because your department is mostly pronounced than other departments then, other departments are not important and that the church can go on without it. It's not possible. And no, not everybody can do the same thing in church. Someone called to be among the sanitation team, if they head over to the choir seat, they're only wasting their gift."

“Apostle Paul now went on to tell us in the succeeding chapter that if you do not have love, all your services ends up as nothing! If you do not love each other, you cannot exist well as one body. Agreed someone is not doing well, but would you because you have a headache go ahead to cut off your head? Or would you rather cut off your arms because you sustained a deep injury? Sure that's not what you'll do. What you'll try to do is find a solution to the injury, pain or whatever."

“Different departments exist in the church as one body, and if the so called littlest department of the church is not functioning, it will be evident! Imagine we all come here on Sunday morning, and we now have to start arranging the chairs after adorning yourself with your beautiful Sunday attire. Imagine it's time for worship and there's no one in the choir seat to sing. Imagine we have a crowd of about a thousand people in service and there's no technician in the church to set up the equipments to be used?"

“We're members of one another, and we should walk in the same. However, we cannot walk in the same without love! It is an important ingredient in working and living together as one body of Christ in the Church! If you see other departments of the church as members of one body. Some the eyes. Some, the legs. Others, the arm. Some others, the kidneys and intestines, I believe it'll yield more love and help us work together as one. Christ is our head. The church is His body, and if the body refuses to stay together, what's the need for the head? Hmmm."

“If I'm to judge by the way y'all are looking down, I'd say you're remorseful, but that doesn't mean I wouldn't take action as touching what just transpired between you. The penalty is that all choristers and technical member present here today are on suspension for the next one month. You're to come early to church as usual, join the sanitation team in taking care of the church premises before each service and also, you must occupy the front seat of every service till the time for the suspense elapses. I've turned a blind eye to everything happening before now, and I'm now forced to take a drastic decision. Trust me, we have others in the church who can take up both offices and do the work effectively without having to throw idle words at each other."

“The way the church will feel it if the set man over the house is not around, is the way they will feel it if other departments of the church fails in their duty or when they think they can exist on their own. We are all dependent on one another, and we are not to live in isolation, neither are we to live with the thought that we're different from others because our departments are different."

“If you see the technical department trying to move the amplifier, there's absolutely nothing wrong in lending them a hand or two to move it. If they're trying to start the generator, you can also help. If the choristers are short of members and you can sing, there's nothing wrong in standing in gap for them till they regain their full numbers. That's what we call working as members of one another. If the ushers are few, and you can leave your own department and there won't be trouble. By trouble I mean there won't be lack of an individual in your own department when you decide to join another department for the meantime, then you can go on and render help. It's called working as members of one another. Not that another department will be beefing the other because they feel they have more importance. I tell you, no department is lesser, neither is any greater. We all come together to work hand-in-hand as one body. If you think one department is not important, try cutting off a part of your body and see if you won't miss the need for it..." 

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