A sermon preached at Kowloon Union Church on Sunday 9
November 2014, Wai Ji Sunday, by the Rev. Phyllis
Wong. The scripture readings that day were 1 Cor 12:12-27.
Today I would like to share with you a message about the
In 1 Cor 12:12-27
- Apostle Paul in the early church era has used the body as a parable to talk
about church unity. It can be applied to describe family, organization and
different kinds of community.
As human beings, we all have our own body.
body, there are different members: head, eyes, ears, mouth, hands and legs.
They are all visible. Invisible members include the heart, liver, stomach,
in a body serve different purposes and help us to keep our life going strong and
It is God’s
will to create different members in a body. As described by Apostle Paul:
“Indeed, the body does not consist of
one member but of many. If the foot would say, ‘because I
am not a hand, I do not belong to the body.’ And if the ears would say,
‘because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body.’ That would not make it
less a part of the body.”
parable of ONE body but different members, we may then appreciate the gift of
diversity given by God. As said in 1 Cor 12:17 : “if the whole body were eyes, where hearing be? If the whole body were
hearing, where would the sense of smell be?”
creation of God enables us to enjoy richness in life. Eyes let us see beautiful
things and watch good movies, our ears help us to listen to uplifting music,
our mouth enables us to taste delicious food.
Members in one
body are different and yet they are equally important in God’s creation.
Equally, we are different and yet we are all valuable. There is no need to
compare and compete with each other.
many members, yet one body. (v20) In our difference, we learn how to appreciate
and support each other. We learn how to humble ourselves to know we are unique
and yet we have our own limitations. We need to help and support each other to
contribute the best of ourselves. We need each other to build a better life and
create a world which is more loving, equal and harmonious.
One Body in Christ and to embrace differences with acceptance is an ideal. There
are times we don’t accept weak members in our community. Apostle Paul challenged
the church community by saying - 1 Cor 12: 22-26:
“the members that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and those members
of the body that we think less honourable we clothe with greater honor, and our
less respectable members are treated with greater respect where our more
respectable members do not need this. God has so arranged the body, giving the greater honor to the inferior
member, that there may be no dissension within the
body, but the members may have the same care for one another. If
one member suffers, all suffer together with it; if one member is honored, all
rejoice together with it.”
Paul teaches Christians in his time and today about caring for each other. With the parable of One Body, Paul
makes a strong notion of each member is connected as one in God through Christ.
We share the same spirit in God and same body in Christ. As One Body, we are
connected: one member suffers, all suffer together with it, if one member
honoured, all rejoice together with it. Your pain is my pain, your joy is my
and physically challenged friends have been regarded as weak by the society and
even by their beloved families. These friends have not been well received and
respected if not totally rejected. The parable of ‘We are One Body’ in the love
of Christ has reminded us our mission to serve the weak and take them as part
As Wai Ji Christian
Service is celebrating her 35th birthday this year and KUC is
celebrating her 90th anniversary with a theme of “Where ALL are
ONE”, the body image of oneness is an important pointer for us.
At the end,
I would like to show you a bamboo cross with a hanged Jesus. I bought it from
and suffering body of Jesus is heart-breaking. But it is a powerful image and
inspiration for us to remember We are ONE BODY in Christ.
Jesus’ forgiving love and gracious
sacrifice on the cross is our source of strength and guide in our quest to the
body of Christ and individual members of it. (v27)
motto: “I came not to be served but to serve”. This is the word and deeds of
Jesus when he was on earth to fulfil his mission from God. I hope we all look
up to Jesus Christ. In our union with Jesus as One Body, we are strengthened
and committed to serve the Lord, to share the gospel and to honour God’s glory.
12-27 王美鳳牧師 9/11/2014
身子原不是一個肢體，乃是許多肢體。 設若腳說：「我不是手，所以不屬乎身子」，它不能因此就不屬乎身子。 設若耳說：「我不是眼，所以不屬乎身子」，它也不能因此就不屬乎身子。
22-26節，提出挑戰：「人以為軟弱的，更是不可少的。 身上肢體我們看為不體面的，越發給它加上體面；不俊美的，越發得著俊美； 我們俊美的肢體，自然用不著裝飾。但神配搭這身子，把加倍的體面給那有缺欠的肢體， 免得身上分門別類，總要肢體彼此相顧。 若一個肢體受苦，所有的肢體就一同受苦；若一個肢體得榮耀，所有的肢體就一同快樂。」
耶穌被釘十字架，身體被折磨受盡痛苦，情境悲傷。但是耶穌被釘十字架的形象，提醒我們聯系於基督。耶穌破碎的身體，祂寬恕的愛和犧牲，成為我們力量的來源，引領我們追隨基督和落實作 -- 「你們就是基督的身子，並且各自做肢體。」(v27)
「懷智」的機構格言 --- 取自聖經耶穌的話，「非以役人，乃役於人」(我來不是被人服侍，乃是要服侍別人) ，這是主耶穌在地的生命實踐。姊妹弟兄，盼望我們一同仰望耶穌，在與祂聯成同一的身體，竭力事主，見證福音，榮耀主名。誠心所願。
A sermon preached at Kowloon Union Church on
Sunday 2 November 2014 by the Rev. Dr. John LeMond. The scripture readings that day were Micah
3:5-12; 1 Thessalonians 2:9-13; Matthew 23:1-12.
How should we live
How should we go
about living our daily
This is the question
that is addressed
By the three
Scripture passages that we have just read.
They do not ask:
“What kind of Christian should I be?”
Or “What should I do
to please God?”
They are asking:
“What does it mean to be a human being?”
What does it mean to
live an honest, true life…
It applies to people
who are religious
And to people who
are not religious.
We are asked to
think about living in relation
These passages speak
to every one of us today
Regardless of our
Or our theological
These passages speak
Regardless of our
commitment to Jesus Christ
Or our commitment to
What does it really mean to
live as a human being?
It’s a universal
And Jesus enters
into this human discussion
Moses was the
greatest leader of the Hebrew people.
A person who had
lived a full life
One who had both submitted
himself to the will of God
And who had
But most of all he
had delivered to the people of Israel
And what were those
commandments concerned with?
As the Hebrew people
left a life of slavery
And prepared to
enter into a new era of freedom
It was important for
them to know
What it meant to be
What it meant truly
to be a human being.
The commandments did
not really concern themselves
With belonging to a
They did not concern
With following a
As a guide to living
life in all its fullness.
And the commandments
Love God and love
And when Jesus
entered into the discussion with the people about Moses
This is what he
“Listen to the words
that God sent through Moses
And to emphasize the
nature of the gift that Moses had delivered to them,
Jesus pointed out
exactly what they should not do:
Do not be like those
who say one thing and do the other.
Do not be like those
who put heavy burdens on others.
Do not do things
just so others can see what you do and praise you.
Do not seek honor
and glory for yourself.
…and love your neighbor.
All the law and the
prophets depend on doing these two things only.
Being truly human
does not depend
Upon fulfilling a
large number of rules and regulations
Only two: love God
and love your neighbor…with all the strength you have.
Today, as we sit
why this was an important question
And for the people
of his time.
Because it is an
important question for our everyday lives as well.
How do I live life
truly, completely and fully?
In chapter 10 of the
Gospel of Luke,
We have a similar
story of Jesus and a lawyer
The lawyer asks
Jesus the same question in a slightly different way.
“Jesus,” he asked,
“what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
So Jesus asked him a
question: “What is written in the law of
“Love God…and love
Jesus makes a direct
connection between being truly human
Jesus says, the
answer is the same.
Love God…and love your neighbor.
There is no
difference between the two.
And this is
something that our world needs to hear.
We watch the
And we see that the
world is constantly at war.
We watch daily as
people suffer in Syria
In West Africa, in
In the Philippines,
in Southeast Asia, in Hong Kong.
These people are not
far away from us
They are people we
know and love
The suffering of
this world is not far from us…it is near.
We need not look
outside our congregation
To find examples of
suffering in our world.
Our own brothers and
physically and spiritually.
And so we too come
to Jesus and ask the question:
How can I live my
life truly, fully and completely
In the midst of all
“Love God…and love
But, we cry: this is
Jesus himself tried
it and it didn’t work.
If Jesus suffered
Is there any hope
The hope, sisters
Lies not in our
successfully fulfilling this law of love
But in knowing that
our Lord Jesus Christ
And that it is
That that we realize
our true humanity.
Even though we seek
to follow the exhortations of Paul to the Thessalonians:
To be holy and
righteous and blameless
And to relate to others
in an encouraging and comforting way,
We too often find
ourselves more like those mentioned in the book of Micah
Waging war against
those who do not favor us with gifts
And distorting all
that is right.
Filling our lives
with wickedness and bloodshed.
Sounds a bit harsh,
We may say, “That
doesn’t sound like me
“That must be someone else.”
I may not be holy,
but I am at least good.
It is you
who deserve to be plowed under like a field,
To become rubble,
overgrown with weeds.
It is we, as part of
the human race,
It is we who kidnap
hundreds of girls…
And force them to
convert to another religion.
It is we who invade
the Ukraine and attempt to overthrow the government
It is we who use the
diamond industry to support terror in Africa
It is we who shoot
peaceful civilians in Syria
It is we who
manipulate the financial markets out of greed.
It is we who argue
with our neighbors and gossip about our friends
It is we who turn
our backs on the most vulnerable in our society.
It is we human
beings who do this.
And yet, we are
frankly amazed to find ourselves among the accused. (Pause)
But even more
amazing is this:
It is we to whom
Jesus comes, calling us friend
It is we whom Jesus
embraces with love.
To live truly as the
human beings that we were created to be
That God continues
to call our names,
And to welcome us
into an embrace of love.
We begin to realize
our true humanity
We yet open
ourselves to the one
Who is both
truly human and truly divine,
The one who shows us
the way of truth and life.
How should we live
Love God; love your
And cling to hope in
the unconditional love and grace of Jesus Christ.