Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Bethany Bullet - January 29, 2013

The sole desire of the Borg was to eradicate any distinctiveness and to assimilate all other life forms into its “collective.” Once “assimilation” was accomplished, individuality vanished.  Not familiar with this Star Trek analogy? Click HERE.

*If you are unable to open link, copy/paste this into your browser to view the YouTube clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WZEJ4OJTgg8

In some way, shape, or form we’ve all been assimilated; more than likely our assimilation has been willingly, though subtle, many factions would seek to get us to embrace ‘group-think’ even without our knowing. But most often we assimilate willingly and quite naturally. We join the club, pay the dues for membership in said association and attend rallies in support of the party; and all intentionally. I, for instance, am a member of the Steeler nation, Cenation and the Hughniverse. 

Though as we learned last week in the 12th chapter of St. Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians we are all equal in Christ, that is, in this BODY we are not independent from one another. There is no segment in the body that is not in need of the other members of the Body.  There is to be no segregation of some part as lesser nor elevation of other members as great. Yet that reality is not a denial of our individuality.

Before the Borg successfully assimilated their prey the haunting chant was heard, “resistance is futile.” In that body, the body of the Borg, elimination of individuality was the priority and the collective is all that mattered. 

As we work through Paul’s letter, on this Life Sunday, I believe that we need to understand that the removing, denying, or ignoring individuality is a priority to successfully assimilate a people into a mindset that denies the sanctity of life. Think about it. It is much easy to accept abortion as an option when we erase the individuality of the particular child in question and place him or her into the collective vocabulary of unplanned or unwanted. If instead of speaking about the unborn personally the talk focuses on medical terminology.  Same is true on the opposite spectrum of the life cycle too.  It is harder to resist the idea that there is some form of compassionate merit in terminating life when we speak of quality rather individuality, focus on the terminal over the individual, or physical tragedy instead shared humanity.  

When prophet or psalmist speak of God knowing and forming, “in the womb” those words are more than declarations about creation! They are testimony to individuality. You are a unique, distinct creation of God.  And while God loves everyone, while Christ came for the entire world, He also loves and comes for you personally (individually). Martin Luther once said, “Had all the world remained free from sin but me, God would have done it the same way.”   YOU, (individually) are known to God and cherished by God. 

In The BODY God grants gifts to His people (people plural everyone is gifted; people singular, you have gifts given by God).  God grants gifts in The BODY so that we, collectively and individually, might bless the Body collectively and its members individually.  

Not sure what your gifts are or how to use them?  Take look at the SHAPE Online Academy, click HERE.

*If you are unable to open link, copy/paste this into your browser to go the SHAPE webpage: http://bethanylutheran.org/587234.ihtml

-Pastor Kevin Kritzer


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