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Galciers

GLACIERS...are magnificent snow formations. And as one would surmise, they are in the colder regions of the world.  I have never seen any up close and personal.  Maybe one day! A glacier is a persistent body of dense ice exceeding a surface area of 0.1 km2 (that’s about 107,584 square feet or just under 2.5 acres) constantly moving under its own gravity which forms where the accumulation of snow exceeds its ablation (melting and sublimation) over many years, even centuries. Glaciers slowly deform and flow due to stresses induced by their weight creating crevasses and other distinguishing features. They only form on land.    

On my only cruise all the experienced ‘cruisers’ aboard continually talked about the Alaskan cruises being their favorite. This summer, my daughter Becky and son Luke got the chance to take that cruise with Dr. Tony Evans and his family. They kept sending magnificent photos as they were sailing. Two are displayed here. I asked Luke what impressed him most about the trip. “Glaciers”, he said. And what one thing about the glaciers most spoke to you? He made an interesting but profound observation. “I would say how each little water molecule creates different colored pieces of ice, which then creates one large instrument. I would connect it with the church and I Corinthians 12. It shows how each little molecule, when in one mind, can create a very powerful force.” Thanks, Luke!

Glaciers#!
Photo by Luke Ellerman
Glaciers#2
Photo by Luke Ellerman

So what are the verses in this chapter all about? Spiritual gifts! I find it interesting that the tiniest molecule at the bottom of the glacier pile is just as significant to the whole as those on the outside surface that are transparent to the eye. They are one body of mass. So is the body of Christ. Diverse yet one! “For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ” (vs. 12). Paul goes on to reemphasize this. “For in fact the body is not one member but many” (vs. 14). Not one gift is more important to the body than another. “If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where would be the smelling? But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased. And if they were all one member, where would the body be? But now indeed there are many members, yet one body” (vss. 17-20). 

Further, the glaciers show us the result of years, even centuries, of development and formation. Our generation of Christians is a result of thousands of years of development and faithfulness. Even before the creation, God had a plan to build a ‘mass of believers’ that one day will spend eternity with Him. He has sent the prophets, kings, Apostles; all with varying spiritual gifts. He went so far as to send His Son, Jesus Christ, to ensure that the ‘mass’ will be completed and brilliant to behold. Each one building on the foundation of Christ! Paul points this out in I Cor. 3:11; ” For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” As glaciers are formed on land as their foundation for growth, so the church has its foundation for growth in Christ; layer upon layer, season after season.

The Holy Spirit has been given to us as a gift. He imparts our spiritual gifts and oversees the use of them for God’s greatest glory and our joy. “There are diversity of gifts but one Spirit. There are differences of ministries but one Lord. And there are diversities of activities but it is the same God who works all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all” (vss. 12:4-7). Just as a glacier is held together by the unified molecules attached to each other, so the body of Christ is by the Spirit.

A glacier is eventually formed by countless individual snow flakes that come under the pressure of the environment; sleet, freezing cold, heat, gravity–all shaping and molding it into a spectacular formation. Such is true with the body of Christ. God uses the ‘elements’ inside and outside of us (trials and temptations, failures, victories, adversities) to apply the pressure to bring about a unified body. And a unified body is a ‘powerful force’. All this has been happening since the ‘fall’ in the Garden of Eden. The ‘glacier called humanity’ got marred, dirty, muddy! But God is redeeming His people into a brilliant masterpiece; for His glory and our good!

He has placed you in the right generation, the right country, the right family, the right neighborhood, the right church to effect His ‘glorious glacier’. What are your gifts; are you using them? Or are you simply hiding at the bottom of the snow pile letting everyone else bring glory and honor to the Lord and receiving all the joy?

Thanks to Luke’s trip and observations, we can all re-examine our contribution to the body of Christ. ‘Each little molecule creating different colored pieces of ice!’ And God really loves admiring His works of art. Glaciers are one; but the main one is you and me; joined together, unified, solidified, powerful and radiant! And He is the only One who has a large enough camera to take the photo!

Copyright 2013

Bill C. Dotson

www.lifespeakstous.com

bill@abidingfathers.org

Scriptures taken from the New King James Version

Some descriptive elements of glaciers taken from Wikipedia, the free dictionary

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