Unity and Diversity

April 17, 2015

“For in fact the body is not one member but many.”   (1Corinthians 12:14)

Chapter 12 of First Corinthians is the greatest Scripture in the New Testament about the way a church is to function.  After the Apostle Paul uses the words diversity and oneness several times, he brings these two opposite concepts together in his inspired metaphor that the Church is to function as a body.

He writes that it is not either/or but both/and: diversity should be celebrated rather than resolved.  As diverse members of the body of Christ come together to have a ministry there are different types of people: let it happen people, make it happen people, don’t know what’s happening people, and don’t know anything is supposed to be happening people.

Let it happen people desperately need make it happen people.  And the other two kinds of people obviously need these first two kinds of people.  The truth is they all need each other to function as a team, a body, and a Church. There are Mary and Martha kinds of people who both need each other.  Often, Marthas do not appreciate Marys because they think they are unorganized. But Marys need Marthas and Marthas need to realize that if it were not for Marys there would not be anything to organize.

Are you fitting in with those kinds of people who have what you do not have and sharing with them what you have that they do not have?

When we experience unity while celebrating diversity we do not have uniformity but a supernatural community that is in reality the body of our risen and living Lord Jesus Christ.

Dick Woodward, 25 June 2013


At the Feet of Jesus

February 27, 2015

“… but few things are needed—or indeed only one.  Mary has chosen what is better…”  (Luke 10:42)

Every time we meet Mary, the sister of Martha, she is at the feet of Jesus.  The verse above describes her at the feet of Jesus hearing His Word.  Martha is frustrated because Mary is attending the Bible study while she herself is doing all the serving.  Jesus sides with Mary because she has chosen the number one priority that day.

In the Gospel of John, chapter 11, the brother of these two sisters has died.  When the Lord arrives too late to save Lazarus both these sisters greet Him with the same words: “Lord, if you had been here my brother would not have died.”  However, when Mary spoke those words we read that she prostrated herself at his feet showing that she accepted His will.

In the next chapter a banquet is described at which their resurrected brother is the guest of honor.  We see Mary there worshiping Jesus at His feet.  She anointed His feet with perfume worth a year’s wages.  What would it mean if you worshiped Jesus with your annual income?

This Mary is a great example for all of us when she is at the feet of Jesus hearing His Word, accepting His will, and worshiping Him.  If we prostrate ourselves at His feet as we read our Bibles, we will hear His personal word to us and find His will for our lives.  If we continue to follow Mary’s example we will be at His feet accepting His will for our lives. And those who follow the example of Mary will find themselves forever offering costly worship at the feet of Jesus.

Dick Woodward, 19 February 2013


In Sickness & in Death

August 12, 2014

I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live…”  (John 11:25)

In the Gospel of John, Chapter 11, we read that Jesus loved Lazarus and his two sisters, Mary and Martha.  As Jesus ministered in the area of Jordan, He received word that Lazarus was sick. Jesus deliberately stayed where He was for two days. When Jesus finally arrived in Bethany, what He really wanted from these two sisters was their response to life’s two most unsolvable problems – sickness and death.

The two sisters are very different. Martha runs out to meet Jesus and says, “Lord, if you had been here my brother would not have died!” We don’t know the inflection in Martha’s voice, but it seems like she was saying, “Where were You?”

Mary is not like Martha. She waits until Jesus sends for her. When she has her personal time with Jesus, she says the exact same words. However, we read that she ‘fell at His feet.’  Mary is mentioned several times in the Gospels and she is always at the feet of Jesus. The first time is when she and Martha were entertaining Jesus. Mary was at His feet, hearing His Word… In this story Mary is at the feet of Jesus accepting His will.  In the next chapter (John 12) she is at His feet worshiping Him.

When sickness and death enter our lives, as they surely will, what God wants from you and me is the right response, which is an intimate relationship to the risen Christ Who lives in our hearts.  If we are at His feet hearing His Word and accepting His will, then, like Mary, we will also respond to these two unavoidable and inescapable problems by by showing our acceptance of them, at His feet, worshiping our Lord.

Dick Woodward, from 30 Biblical Reasons Why God’s People Suffer