21st November 2013

Who Flew the Hot Air Balloon? 

“Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.”
1 Corinthians 12:12-14 (NIV) 

The hot air balloon is the oldest successful human-carrying flight technology. On November 21, 1783, in Annonay, France, the first un-tethered manned flight took place. But who flew the balloon?
“We did”, said Jean-Francois Pilatre de Rozier and Francois Laurent d’Alandes, the pilots on that first balloon flight.
“I did,” said the heat, “Without me there would have been no flight.”
“I did,” said the balloon (or ‘envelope’), “Without me there would have been no flight.”
“I did,” said the wind. “Without me there would have been no flight.”
Who, or what, flew the hot air balloon? In reality they all did. Each had a part to play. 

This is so true of serving God in the church.  No matter how insignificant you may think you are, you are an essential part of the whole. You are a vital member of your local congregation, your denomination and the wider body of Christ. Each of us has an important part to play if we are to serve God. Maybe you feel that you don’t have much to contribute, that you are not part of the ‘kingdom action’ because you’re not a great evangelist or a fearless missionary. How could God ever use a person like you? 

But think of the people God has used in his service: Abraham was old, Moses stuttered, Rahab was immoral, David had an affair and all kinds of family problems, Elijah was suicidal, Jeremiah was depressed, Jonah was reluctant, Naomi was a widow, John the Baptist was eccentric, Peter was impulsive and hot-tempered, Martha worried a lot, the Samaritan woman had several failed marriages, Thomas had doubts, Paul had poor health, and Timothy was timid. That is quite a bunch of misfits. But God used each of them in his service. And God can use all of us too. 

There is one thing we can all do, and that’s pray. That’s where the real action is; that’s our chief battleground. Sometimes we can think that our role in a given situation is ‘only’ prayer; but this prayer may be the heat, ‘envelope’, or wind that will enable a particular activity or project to fly. We all have something worthwhile to offer. We all have something to contribute. The church is richer because we are all a part of it. Let’s surrender to God the gifts he has given us and use them in his service; then let’s watch the church fly. 

Father, thank you for the gifts you have given me and my brothers and sisters in Christ. Help us to use those gifts for your glory and in service to one another.

Study by Barry Robinson


barryrobinsonAbout the Author:
Barry Robinson is an Elder in and pastoral worker in the Greater London area, particularly the Camberwell and North London congregations of the Worldwide Church of God UK.

Local Congregation:
Worldwide Church of God London
Indian YMCA Student Hostel
Mahatma Gandhi Hall
41 Fitzroy Square

Meeting time:
Saturday 2:30pm

Local Congregational Contact:
Martin Ryan
Phone:  020 8202 3998
Email:   martin_ryan@wcg.org.uk

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