This is a combine:
This is a header:
Actually, that’s only one kind of header; different headers are needed for different jobs. It’s a far cry from the old back-breaking scythe of past centuries. Not that modern farming is a walk in the park, since I’m talking about the folks that put in 14-16 hour days to put bread on our tables.
My friend (who farms) told me recently of a little 2-year-old boy whose mom (another farming family) picked up a toy combine at a garage sale. Obviously, it was used, and was missing the header, but the boy was so young, mom didn’t think this would be a problem. Kids that age have great imaginations anyway, right?
Until she gave it to her son, and he remarked, “Where’s the header? How do you expect me to get any work done without the header?!?”
In my defense, I’m from the ‘burbs, and my milk and bread came from the grocery store. So evidently, a combine is not as effective (like, at all?) without its header. Missing pieces in farming equipment mean no more bread on my table, and imaginary bread doesn’t fill the stomach very well.
All this brings to my mind what the Apostle Paul talks about when he compares the Body of Christ to an actual human body. It’s that crucial idea that we need each other to be fully productive. If the hand says to the foot “I don’t need you”, then the hand probably isn’t going anywhere! Finally, Paul makes this simple but essential conclusion:
“All of you together are Christ’s body, and each of you is a part of it.”
That word, together, is highlighted in my brain. Even if I’m just a little screw that helps hold the header in place, when I take my part away, (perhaps due to offense, neglect of my health, complacency, whatever), the harvest is at risk. Of course, this also applies to those around me, the one in the next pew whose part seems dirty and squeaky and maybe even a little rusty. I need—no, I am accountable, to allow the Lord of the Harvest to put my piece in place with all the other pieces.
So we can get some actual work done, without just pretending. Even a two-year-old could tell the difference.
1 Corinthians 12:27 Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.