Fundamental Belief #14--Unity in the Body of Christ
The church is one body with many members, called from every nation, kindred, tongue, and people. In Christ we are a new creation; distinctions of race, culture, learning, and nationality, and differences between high and low, rich and poor, male and female, must not be divisive among us. We are all equal in Christ, who by one Spirit has bonded us into one fellowship with Him and with one another; we are to serve and be served without partiality or reservation. Through the revelation of Jesus Christ in the Scriptures we share the same faith and hope, and reach out in one witness to all. This unity has its source in the oneness of the triune God, who has adopted us as His children. (Read verses here: Rom. 12:4, 5; 1 Cor. 12:12-14; Matt. 28:19, 20; Ps. 133:1; 2 Cor. 5:16, 17; Acts 17:26, 27; Gal. 3:27, 29; Col. 3:10-15; Eph. 4:14-16; 4:1-6; John 17:20-23.)
The Object Lesson:
--Children's puzzle with about 24 large pieces
--Small table, such as a collapsible TV tray, large enough to hold finished puzzle
Have the puzzle partially started before the story begins.
Many Pieces, One Whole(Hold up a puzzle piece and say:) Do you like my picture? Isn’t it pretty?
(The children will probably tell you it isn’t a picture but just a piece of a puzzle.)
Yes, that’s right, it isn’t a picture yet. It’s just a piece of the puzzle. I have all these puzzle pieces but they won’t be a picture unless I put them together. Each piece is different but it has a place in the picture. Every piece has a place and when they are fitted together correctly I will have a very nice picture. What would happen if every piece looked alike? I wouldn’t have a very nice picture to look at when I was finished.
I've started putting the puzzle together but I'm going to need some help. (Pass out the remaining puzzle pieces to the children and have them come up, two or three at a time to place their piece(s) in the puzzle.)
Ah, now we can see the pretty picture in the puzzle and we all worked so well together. Each piece of the puzzle was different but equally important so the puzzle could be finished. What would happen if one of the puzzle pieces decided it didn’t want to be in the puzzle and got lost? Would our puzzle be complete? No, we need all the pieces to make a pretty picture.
Just as each puzzle piece had its place, we each have a place in our church. Jesus prayed to His Father that we would all be one just as He and His Father were. The Bible tells us “How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!” It doesn’t matter that we don’t all look alike or that we can’t all sing or play the piano or preach. Each person in the church is different from anyone else. Some are boys and some are girls. Some are tall and some are short. Some can preach and some can listen. But just like the puzzle pieces, each one of us plays an important role. What are some things that people in church can do? (Preach, teach, play, sing, clean, help, take up the offering, greet people, invite people home for dinner, pray, count money, sit and listen, etc.) The Bible tells us we are all equal in God’s sight and part of His family. We are to serve Him and one another.
But even though we are different and do different things we come together in unity because loving and obeying Jesus is the most important thing we all do. Remember when we put the puzzle together we sometimes put a piece in the wrong place? We soon realized we were wrong and found the right place for the piece. Sometimes in our church we also have difficulties and we don’t all agree but with prayer and the help of the Holy Spirit we come together united in our belief in Jesus and find the solution to our problems.
Aren’t you happy this morning that Jesus has brought us all together as one in His church.
Prayer: Dear Jesus, we are so thankful that no matter who we are or what we can do we can have hope in You. We can be one in You. Amen.
The Bible Verse:
Behold, how good and how pleasant it is
For brethren to dwell together in unity!
What Joy It Is to Worship Here
What joy it is to worship here, And find ourselves at home,
Where God, who uses every gift, Has room for all who come!
Yet are no two of us alike of all the human race,
And we must seek a common ground if we would share His grace.
~Words by Fred Pratt Green, Seventh-day Adventist Hymnal #586
The Coloring Page: