Take care that you do not despise one of these little ones; for, I tell you, in heaven their angels continually see the face of my Father in heaven. What do you think? If a shepherd has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray? And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray. So it is not the will of your Father in heaven that one of these little ones should be lost.1 Corinthians 12. 12-22 & 27
For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and we were all made to drink of one Spirit. Indeed, the body does not consist of one member but of many. If the foot would say, "Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body," that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear would say, "Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body," that would not make it any less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole body were hearing, where would the sense of smell be? But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be? As it is, there are many members, yet one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, "I have no need of you," nor again the head to the feet, "I have no need of you." On the contrary, the members of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable. Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.
The readings we heard today tell us about the importance of everyone.
We might be different but we are all important.
In the story of the lost sheep we heard how a shepherd left 99 sheep to go and look for 1 sheep. It sounds a bit sill really. It’s a bit over the top to fuss over one sheep? Well that’s the way God’s love is. It’s over the top. But it’s not al about that one sheep. It’s not just for the sake of that one sheep that the shepherd goes to find it. It’s for the sake of the whole hundred for the other 99 just as much as the one that was lost because the 99 are missing something without that sheep. Not one of those other 99 sheep could BE that 100th sheep. Sheep may all look the same – they’re all white and woolly – a bit like a uniform really I suppose – but they’re not all the same. Just as all you beavers or cubs or scouts or explorers may wear the same uniform. It doesn’t mean you’re the same. It does mean that you’re a community though. It means you’re a BODY.
Just like that second reading that we heard, you might all be different but you all need each other.
Just like those parts of the body are different there are people who are different
Some people are good at listening, or who enjoy music
Some people look out for everyone or notice things
Some people are good at explaining things, speaking up for others or singing
Some people are good at helping out or at building or making things
Some people are good at supporting others, or standing firm or playing football or running.
You and your friends might be good at some of the same things but there is no one who is exactly like another person and we need all sorts of different people. If everyone was the same there are so many things we couldn’t do because we need people who can do all sorts of different things.
Take the flag for example.
How did it get here today?? I know I know someone carried it in. But it didn’t just appear from nowhere. Lots of people were involved in producing the flag.
What different things would need to be done to make that flag? Any ideas?
(there are lots - any suggestions from the blogosphere?)
ALL these different jobs need a different person with different skills. No matter what you’re good at there’s a need for you in this community of scouting and in God’s family.
God’s message to each of us is that God loves us as we are. He doesn’t demand that we be someone other than who we are and he wants us to get along with others in our community. That’s how simple it is. That’s how Jesus summed it up. There used to be hundreds of rules but Jesus reduced it down to just two
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and your soul and love your neighbour as yourself.
Obey those two things and our community and each and everyone of us will thrive. What happens if we don’t obey that? Well we heard it in the first story. God’s love is so strong that even when we do stray from those two rules and move away, God brings us back into community.