All kinds of people fit in the body of Christ.
Paddington has traveled all the way from Peru to London, braving buses, train stations, boats, and taxidermists. As a bear, he found it hard to fit in and have a place that he could really call home. When it comes to the end of the day, Paddington finds a home with a quirky little British family called the Browns. They are odd. They are funny, but they are family.
Church, Belonging, Body of Christ, Acceptance, Family
Paddington sits in his attic bedroom writing a letter to his Aunt Lucy, who is still back in darkest Peru. He tells her about the Brown family, how odd, but also wonderful they all are. He writes: “Mrs. Brown says that in London everyone is different, which means anyone can fit in. I think she must be right, because although I don't look like anyone else, I really do feel at home. I will never be like other people, but that's alright, because I am a bear, a bear called Paddington.” Paddington looks out the window with a smile on his face. He then hears Jonathan Brown, the youngest Brown, calling his name for him to join the family out in the snow for a snowball fight. He rushes downstairs to join in, completely at home with his new family.
Family is a funny thing. Sometimes we feel the pressure of being like our siblings, or like our parents. We feel a pressure to fit in and be like everybody else. For Paddington, he is a bear. He cannot be like everyone else. For all he knows, he cannot be like anyone else. He is one of a kind, and he has come to accept that, because you do not have to be the same to fit in. As Mrs. Brown put it, “everyone is different, which means anyone can fit in.” God's family, the church, is very similar. In Paul's description of the church, he compares it to a body, with many different parts (Romans 12:4-6a). Everyone has a different role. Everyone can be different and is meant to be different (1 Corinthians 12:1). God created us each as unique individuals, and He doesn't expect the pressures of family or society to force us to change who we are. God made you to be you, and to work together with other people to form a community and a family to show the world what love is (John 13:34). As Paddington realized, he is unique and different, and there is nothing wrong with that. God created each of us unique and different, and our job isn't to change who we are. Our job is to figure out how God wants to use our unique selves to play a bigger role in His family (1 Corinthians 12:12).