Small Group Tools
Contemporary Comments 2016
The Holy Spirit and the Church
Ephesians 1:22, 23; 1 Corinthians 12:13; Romans 6:3-7; Acts 17:11; Ephesians 4:5, 6; Acts 2:4-11
March 4, 2017
What’s the secret ingredient in a delicious recipe? If you are selling pizzas in Ghana, it just might be tap water from New York City. Really. A New York pizza chain called “Famous Famiglia” wants to make pizzas in far off Africa just like back at home. That’s why they are shipping H2O across the ocean—100 gallons of imported New York water to make 1,000 pizza pies per week.
The proprietor, Dan Isaacs, says, “New York city water has a very unique chemical composition and taste to it. I’m a purist—I wouldn’t want to do anything less than the original.” All the sauces, cheese, flour, and olive oil is also “in-house.” Most of the toppings are from local sources. “Consistency is everything to our product,” explains the head of global development for the chain. “A bite of our pizza in Accra has to be just as delicious as a bite of our pizza in the middle of New York City.” 
In case you don’t understand Italian, famiglia is the word for family. This week’s Sabbath school lesson touches on the secret ingredient that brings the church—God’s family—together in unity. We like to boast that the essence of harmony in the body of Christ comes from superb leadership, excellent programs, and a lot of delicious potlucks. But the ultimate factor comes down to heavenly water—that is, the Holy Spirit.
There are many symbols for the Holy Spirit in the Bible and one of them is water. Notice what Paul writes to the church at Corinth. “For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink” (1 Corinthians 12:13).
Can we expect an extremely diverse group of people, with individual tastes and opinions, different cultural backgrounds and political viewpoints, to unite into one religious family? According to Paul, yes, we may be one through submitting ourselves humbly to Christ and being baptized by the Spirit into one body.
The next time you gather with your church for worship, look around at the diversity within your congregation. Ask yourself, “What is the secret ingredient that unites us as a harmonious family?” The answer is found in receiving the Holy Spirit. When members drink of the Spirit, they will consistently find brothers and sisters in Christ wherever they go—even on a street corner in some remote location on the other side of the world.