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Caroline Newbold1 
Caroline Newbold 

Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. I Corinthians 12:27
One day some years ago Steve and I had a maintenance problem in the house and were discussing who we could ask for advice.  My sister, who is not a Christian, was with us at the time and she said ‘you always know someone for every situation!’  We often do - and that is because we are members of the Church (the Body of Christ), which is a beautiful thing!

In this letter to Christians in Corinth Paul uses the image of a human body to describe the church, with different parts having different functions but being equally important.  The point is that we are all valuable whatever we can contribute.  And as we well know from our own bodies, if one part doesn’t work properly then the whole body can suffer.

God made us all unique with different personalities, gifts and skills.  But just as when Jesus turned 5 loaves and 2 fishes into lunch for 5000 people, in his economy he always provides what we need (not necessarily what we want!) at the right time.  At St Stephen’s we have found that if we are faithful with our finances then we have enough to cover our costs and support others.  If we are faithful with our individual gifts and skills we find that we are blessed with the right people to do the right job at the right time.  This is God’s economy, not ours and relies on us all being faithful in our using our own gifts and seeking his provision when we can’t see a human solution.

At the moment St Stephen’s looks very different from a few months ago but it’s good to remind ourselves that church is not a building but a collection of believers, and thankfully many of us can still meet (thanks to technology) and we can still support each other in a myriad of ways, as well as reaching out into our local community.  Whatever role you have in our ‘body’ you are important and appreciated – thank you for being an essential part of St Stephen’s!
We thank you Lord that all of us are part of the Body of Christ at St Stephen’s.  We thank you for each person’s personality and gifts, we thank you that you always provide for our needs as a church and long to bless us.  Amen.

Prayer Request
‘If one part suffers, every part suffers with it’ (V.26) Pray today for members of our church known to you who are struggling with physical or mental illness or difficult personal circumstances.