The Bible says that the church has enormous potential for making a difference in this world. That is God’s plan for it. Yet in the harsh light of day we see that so often the church is wildly dysfunctional, so often an agent of harm rather than good. When Nash was at his worst his wife stayed with him and said, “I need to believe that something extraordinary is possible.” That’s what we need to do with the church. Because it is God’s creation, his vehicle for demonstrating his wisdom and his love in this world, we need to believe that something extraordinary is possible.
Peter also says that we must serve each other. What a difference it will make when we see our role in the body of Christ to be that of a servant. I expect the employees at my bank, at stores I shop at, at the auto repair shop, at an airline to render service to me. But in the church my role is to serve! Recently I reflected on the odd role of the people who work at restaurants. They used to be called waiters or waitresses, but in our more politically correct day they are just known as servers. That’s because their job is simply that – to serve. They are to see to the customers’ needs, whatever they may be. What an excellent model for us in the church. Each of us is called to that role. We are servers, in the body not to be served, but to serve. When that is how we relate to one another the church will begin be what God intended. It will be so very different from the world around us. And it will have an impact on all who experience it.