Church (5) Bodyworks
|The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body--whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free--and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. |
Now the body is not made up of one part but of many. If the foot should say, "Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body," it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body...
If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be?...
If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.
Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. 1Corinthians12:12-27
The body - an amazing topic of discussion and reflection. Watch a gymnast do their thing or the precision of an artist. Think about the miracles of hugs, smiles, singing and sight. Our bodies can do all these things.
Paul turns to the body as an analogy for the church. It is a magnificent picture:
- There are many parts, but one body.
- It's made of different parts, but all are needed.
- It is unified under the headship of Christ and the bonding power of the Spirit.
- It is able to do amazing things through the diversity of the parts.
- Through the body we are able to share sorrow and rejoice in blessings.
- It belongs to Jesus
Western Christianity in particular is guilty of moving in the direction of "lone-ranger Christianity." Paul's picture of the church as a body is both vibrant and beautiful and a great corrective to individualism.
What part of the body might you be?
I think I might be an elbow - the kind that jabs you in the ribs to remind you that God loves you.
Have you taken some time to look at the family of believers that you have in your local congregation? Can you see the same magnificence and potential that I described in the opening paragraph?
Last thought: Jesus is the King and head of the church. The body functions well when it is connected to the head. When a physical body loses connection with the head through a spinal injury - it becomes paralysed. The church is not all that different....