(Ephesians 4:7) “But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.”
Everyone loves a story where the underdog wins. “David vs. Goliath” is a phrase used in our culture to describe a battle between the less advantaged and the expected victor. In sports we can look at examples of the greatest upsets where the team who appeared to have no chance actually turned to greatness even if it was only for one day. Who can forget:
- The 1980 Miracle on Ice – A U.S. Olympic college hockey team beats the best team in the world and eventually wins the gold medal
- Superbowl 42 – The New York Giants upset the previously undefeated New England Patriots with two fourth quarter touchdowns.
- The 1969 World Series – The Mets win (yes, once upon a time)
- The 1950 World Cup – The U.S. defeats England (you never heard of this shocker?)
- The 1985 Men’s NCAA Basketball Championship – Villanova takes down Georgetown
In any upset where there is unexpected victory, we find common characteristics: For one short moment in history, there is the perfect combination of teamwork and skill. A team with so much diversity and difference comes together for a common purpose. When you put these things together for a brief period, you have all the ingredients for an upset. But when you put these things together over the long stretch, you go beyond the capacity of an upset. You have the recipe for greatness.
In this verse, the discussion turns from the unity in the Body of Christ to diversity. But it isn’t the type of diversity we usually think about. We usually think about diversity in a negative context. All we hear about in the media are differences in economic status, nationality, skin color, social environment and anything else that can be used to divide a people. The Bible never paints diversity in the Church using these factors. We see in this verse the diversity is in light of the ministries (or grace) given to us by God. There is diversity in our unity and unity in our diversity. In a healthy body there are many parts working to perform individual functions but working in unison to accomplish a single purpose. This is what we are as the Church.
We have the capacity to be what we are designed to be as the Body of Christ – “But unto every one of us is given…” Those differences the world wants us to see need to be set aside as inconsequential. The Christian living in a mud hut and the Christian living in the city are one in Christ. The rich and the poor are one in Christ. The Christian in the Philippines, the Christian in Zambia and the Christian in Germany are one in Christ. The diversity in Him is found in the gifts and ministries we’ve been given, not in our surroundings. This is how we can find strength in our differences. This is how we can find victory in spite of those factors that usually divide. In Christ, we have all the ingredients necessary for greatness as a team, a family, and a living Body.
Renewed Thought – Christ is the only Provider of true and lasting unity where our diversity is not a reason for separation but celebration in Him.