If you are like me, and grew up watching some of the things I grew up watching, you are now trying to get that song out of your head. You know which one I'm talking about, and I'll bet, you're singing it in your mind right now.
"Three of these things belong together. Three of these things are kind of the same. Can you guess which one of these doesn't belong here? Now it's time to play our game. It's time to play our game."
There's another version:
"Three of these kids belong together. Three of these kids are kind of the same. But one of these kids is doing her own thing. Now it's time to play our game. It's time to play our game."
Now, you'll be singing that all day and you are most welcome. I still love Sesame Street, even at very nearly 40 years old.
Have you ever felt like you were the one doing your own thing? Everyone else seems to be doing or being one thing, but you just don't fit in? Most of us, if we're honest, have felt that way at least once, some of us never seem to be able to get away from it.
I tighty rolled my jeans in high school. Everyone tighty rolled their jeans in high school in the '80's. I had a mullet in high school. Practically all of the guys had a mullet in the '80's. There was something in me, then, that caused me to think I had to fit in, be like everyone else. I give thanks that I outgrew that.
Paul talks about celebrating the way God created you. 1 Corinthians 12 talks about the fact that we are all different parts of the same body, which in essence means we were created differently for a purpose. I love the fact that the feet should celebrate being feet. The hands should celebrate being the hands. The ears are not the eyes, but where would the body be without them?
I grew up in an all white, middle class, rural church. I have served 9 churches so far in my career; all white, middle class, mostly rural churches. This is all I've ever known. BUT...in December of 2008, I spent a week splitting time between Arizona and Mexico, and my eyes were opened to something. On Sunday morning we went to worship, and worship was led in three different languages: English, Spanish, and native Tohono O'odom. It was amazing!
Hands were allowed to be hands. Feet were allowed to be feet. Ears were celebrated because they were ears. There were no expectations that you should become something else. I think that for the first time, I got a glimpse of the reality of the fact that the body was made up of so many different parts, and we celebrated that. Sure, I only understood 1/3 of what was going on, but it didn't bother me. I might have understood more of the service had it all been in English, led by European Americans, because that's what I can relate to, but what I witnessed was the beauty of celebrating who we are and how we were created.
Here's where I may get into trouble...if the church you are attending is asking you to be something you're not, leave. No, wait, don't leave. Find a way to celebrate who you are in their midst. Help the Kingdom break out all around you. I guarantee that what is different about you is beautiful in the eyes of the Creator.
Paul ends this section in 1 Corinthians with a seque into the next line of thought..."And now I will show you the most excellent way." Jump ahead into chapter 13 to see what he's talking about.