Thursday, July 12, 2012

Honey Bees and the Church

I have a new appreciation for honey bees and honey.  I don't know quite when it happened, but it happened.  Because of this new found appreciation I used honey bees as an illustration of how the church should function in the sermon last Sunday.  I have discovered that honey bees are fascinating creatures.  I'm so glad God made them!

Here are some fun facts for you:

-The honey bee is the only insect that produces food eaten by man.

-Honey is the only food that includes all the substances necessary to sustain life, including enzymes, vitamins, minerals, and water; and it's the only food that contains "pinocembrin", an antioxidant associated with improved brain functioning.

-Worker honey bees are female, live for about 6 weeks and do all the work. 

-The average worker bee produces about 1/12th teaspoon of honey in her lifetime.

While those facts may relate to the church, the reason I thought about honey bees when I thought about the church is because each bee has a role to play in the hive.  Each bee has a purpose and if each bee does not fulfill it's purpose, then the hive is at risk of dying.

Here's the various roles of each honey bee:

-The queen lays eggs.

-The drones are the males, they eat and mate, that’s it.

-The worker bees are females…when they are young they keep the hive clean, they tend to the queen bee, they make the comb, they keep the hive cool and they guard the hive. When they get older, they become foragers and gather nectar, pollen, water and a special materials to construct the hive. Worker bees will even remove carcasses from the hive.

For the hive to exist, each bee has to do it’s job. It has to fulfill it’s purpose.

It reminds me of what Paul wrote in the 12th chapter of 1st Corinthians.  After using the human body as an illustration of the oneness of the church and the purpose of each individual member, in verse 27 he says "You are the body of Christ and each one of you is a part of it."

You matter to God.  You matter to the Church.  You are valuable and you have a purpose.  You have a mission.  For the church to be everything God wants it to be in the world you must believe this about yourself and act accordingly.

Remember the honey bee. 

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