Message: In Romans 11 Paul was talking about the importance of us seeing ourselves as one body with many parts that do different things. I feel like that topic is so heavily discussed that sometimes we nod our heads, zone out and move forward with what we’ve already heard about this. In the rest of Romans 11 it almost seems like he changed the subject because he started talking about loving each other and seeing each other like family, giving honor, detesting evil and treating our enemies well. He urges us not to take vengeance for ourselves but leave room for God to avenge us. This was a huge paraphrase of an entire chapter, but I started to pick up on something as I read it all. If we truly see ourselves as one body, we will treat each other like we are all in the same family. Some families fight like enemies just like some individuals harm themselves like an enemy (or worse). I think this is why it’s important to see the body of Christ both as one singular being, and also as a close family. Although we all want the best for ourselves and our families, we all do some things that are harmful to ourselves, even though would give our lives to protect a family member. At the same time, families fight and sometimes we act out of self-preservation against the very same people we would give our lives to protect under other circumstances. It’s interesting how we shift from self-preservation mode, to self-destruction and protector of the family to enemy of the family. I’m always amused by siblings that fight like cats and dogs with each other, but will defend each other to the death when it comes to someone from the outside. So when Paul was talking about us all being one body having different gifts, he was also talking to us about honoring and protecting each other like one body and one family. We need to respect the gifts in each other because those gifts contribute to us as a whole. Our hands are not the enemy of our feet and the feet are not in competition of our hand. Our feet take us where we need to go while our hands handle some of the fine details. We wouldn’t be able to handle those find details if our feet didn’t take us there. But what about the times we are in self-destructive mode and we do things that harm ourselves. The feet can also take us out of that situation. These are the times we are not happy with our feet for taking us out of our self-harm but this is the beauty of family and unity of the body of Christ that we honor each other, and serve the best interest of the whole body and not ourselves or the individual parts that we like best.