What a perfect day for a hike, Quinn thought as she woke up and saw sunlight streaming through her curtains. Today was the Sunday school outing to Harrison Falls and she could hardly wait to get started.
A few hours later, Quinn found herself at the trail’s beginning with thirty-four other kids, all anxious to begin the hike.
“Each of you find a buddy!” shouted Luke, the youth leader. “Let’s get going to the falls. As we go, you and your buddy talk about ways you are alike and ways you are different. We’ll discuss what you come up with later.” His voice faded as he turned toward the trail.
Quinn and Isabella chose each other for the hike. “My eyes are blue and yours are green; but we both have light brown hair,” said Isabella, looking her friend over. “Your hair is shorter than mine,” said Quinn, “and straighter too!”
“You play a flute, and I play a clarinet,” said Isabella.
“But you could say we both play wind instruments,” added Quinn. “And we go to the same church. We are even in the same Sunday school class!”
“Oh, we could go on and on. I’m sure we have more differences than things in common,” said Isabella. Quinn nodded, as they continued along the trail.
Twenty minutes later, they reached their destination and joined the group gathering around Luke, waiting for the last stragglers. They all were talking about the falls and how hot and tired they were.
“Everyone find a seat on a rock or on the ground and let’s see what you found out,” Luke said, raising his voice to be heard above the roar of the waterfall.
Two boys started by saying they shared the same hobby of collecting insects, and they had the same kind of bicycle. Their first names were even the same. But they looked very different.
“Did you discover that you both have two arms, two legs, and one head?” asked Luke.
Everyone laughed. “Yes,” one of the boys answered, “but we tried to get beyond the basics!”
“What I mean,” Luke said with a smile, as he took a Testament from his pocket, “is that each of you has a body which has many parts. It says in 1 Corinthians 12:14: ‘For the body is not one member, but many.’ The ‘body’ in this Scripture refers to the Body of Christ, or a group of Christians. It takes a body of Christians to make a church. Our world-wide church has many preachers, teachers, ushers, and Sunday school bus drivers. The Body of Christ needs many parts to operate, just as our physical body needs different parts in order to function.
“In verse 18 it says, ‘But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.’ How would our church operate if it had only preachers?” Luke asked.
“There wouldn’t be anyone to do all the other jobs,” Quinn replied.
“That’s right! For this reason,” Luke continued, “God has a place for each of us in the Body of Christ. We can all fill the job of being faithful Sunday school students. Can you name some others?”
“We can play our instruments for the Lord,” said Mimi, who plays a violin.
Luke nodded. “If God has given you a talent to play an instrument, be faithful to practice, at home and at church.”
“We can encourage a friend who’s feeling down,” Isabella pointed out.
“Sure!” said Luke. “The members of the Body of Christ care for one another, just as you care for your own body. If you had hurt your foot badly as you were hiking today, you wouldn’t ignore it, would you? You would stop, sit down, and rub it. Your hands would help the hurting foot.
“Verse 21 says, ‘. . . the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee.’ The eye and the hand need each other. We, too, need the help and instruction of one another.
“There are as many parts of the Body of Christ as there are young Christians here. Each one has special God-given talents. God is the Head of the Body of Christ and He will help us to encourage others. Giving our talents to the Lord now, brings the blessing of God throughout our lives.”
Luke closed his Testament and said, “Your part in the Body of Christ may be known only to you and God. We can be sure God knows what our talents are, and will expect us to use them. Let’s ask Him to help us develop them to serve Him better.”
Looking at his watch, Luke stood up. “What’s next on the schedule?” His voice was lost among the happy shouts, “Lunch, lunch! Let’s go eat!”