Cells, Genes, and the Holy Spirit: Being the Body of Christ

One of the things I love about homeschooling is that I get to learn (or relearn) right along with my children.  I haven’t had a class in biology since 9th grade, so when the kids and I studied human anatomy this past year, I was enjoying it just as much as they were, if not more.  I even found out that some things I had previously thought (and had even been taught) were untrue.  (Did you know that the deoxygenated blood in your veins is not really blue?  It’s actually a dark purplish red, but it looks blue as we see it through our skin.)

One of the most fascinating parts of biology to me is genetics and basic cell structure.  Every single cell in our bodies contains exactly the same 46 chromosomes within its nucleus.  At their very core, all of the cells are identical.  Yet somehow, in ways that I do not pretend to even begin to understand, each cell receives unique directions that tell it what to do, what kind of cell to be (lung, brain, eyelash, toenail), and where in the body it belongs.

In my mind, this describes at least part of the role of the Holy Spirit in each believer and in the Church.  The Holy Spirit lives inside each believer, and it’s the same Spirit inside everyone.  At our core, we are the same.  And yet, that same Spirit directs each of us individually in how we are to fill our position in the Body of Christ.  Some are pastors, some are teachers.  Some give lots of money, some give lots of time.  Some witness boldly, some witness quietly.  Some are musicians, some are mathematicians.

In our bodies, all of the parts work together to keep us alive, active, and healthy.  If one part doesn’t do its job, or even if one part overdoes it’s job, the body gets out of balance and unwell.  If every cell was a brain cell, we couldn’t move.  If every cell was a skin cell, we couldn’t think.  All of the different types are necessary.

In the Church, the goal is not uniformity, but harmony.  As the Spirit leads, we are all moving toward one common goal of Christ-likeness and His glorification, but we are not all doing or being the same.  It is not my job to be just like my pastor.  It is not my job to be just like a Godly woman I may admire.  My job is to allow the Spirit to direct me and to be the “cell” that He created me to be.