“For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body — Jews or Greeks, slaves or free — and we were all made to drink of one Spirit. … Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.” (1 Cor. 12:12-13, 27)
One day, my grandchildren wanted me to watch the movie, “Ice Age.” “Ice Age” is an animated movie about a wooly mammoth named Manfred, a sloth named Sid, and a saber-tooth tiger named Diego. These three unlikely companions discover a little boy and unite on a common mission to return the baby to his father.
While on their journey they realized that they are on top of an erupting volcano, which was melting the glacier bridge on the ice field. Diego jumps to reach the others and falls short, he loses his grip and falls. Manfred unwilling to let Diego perish leaps into the chasm and tosses the tiger to safety. Diego is moved by Manfred's compassion, courage and sacrifice in this dangerous rescue.
“Why did you do that?” Diego asks. “You could have died trying to save me.”
Humbly, the mammoth responds, “That's what you do when you're part of a herd. You look after each other.”
Reflecting on the circumstances that brought these three together, Sid muses aloud, “I don't know about you guys, but we are one strange herd.”
Whenever I think of the church, I often think of this odd collection of individuals God has called together for His purposes to become His church, “this one strange herd.” The church is called out into the world by Christ as a expression of all that is good, acceptable and perfect in God's sight. God is His wisdom calls together the strangest collection of people full of failures, faults, sins and shortcomings but still remains confident that we can become Christ's church.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer in his book, “Life Together” speaks about this one strange herd, “If we do not give thanks daily for the Christian fellowship in which we have been placed, even where there is no great experience, no discoverable riches, but much weakness, small faith, and difficulty… then we hinder God from letting our fellowship grow according to the measure and riches which are there for us all in Christ Jesus.”