The most glorious, magnificent body I have ever seen is the body in front of me when leading worship. The most gorgeous of all bodies I have seen at work is the group of church members sweating and dirty after trimming bushes and pulling weeds. Watching the arms and legs and minds and hearts working together sitting around a board room conducting church business is truly a sight to behold – Christ’s Body at work!
The most powerful image I have found within the entire New Testament comes from Paul and his writing to the Corinthians: We are the Body of Christ. I like to add a few adjectives: We are the vibrant, living and breathing Body of Christ.
While the historical Jesus who lived thousands of years ago is no longer walking with us, God has empowered us to be his body in doing now, and forever, all that Jesus was able to give the world years ago. As the living body of Christ, we are called to do and be in the world all that Christ would be doing if with us today. We are fed and nourished in doing Christ’s work through Word and Sacraments. We are empowered by God to do Christ’s work in the church and world.
Hear these words that come directly from St. Paul—I Corinthians 12: 4-31:
4Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; 5and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; 6and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone. 7To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. 8To one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, 9to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, 10to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the discernment of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 11All these are activated by one and the same Spirit, who allots to each one individually just as the Spirit chooses.
12For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. 13For in the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.
14Indeed, the body does not consist of one member but of many. 15If the foot were to say, ‘Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body’, that would not make it any less a part of the body. 16And if the ear were to say, ‘Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body’, that would not make it any less a part of the body. 17If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole body were hearing, where would the sense of smell be? 18But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. 19If all were a single member, where would the body be? 20As it is, there are many members, yet one body. 21The eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I have no need of you’, nor again the head to the feet, ‘I have no need of you.’ 22On the contrary, the members of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23and those members of the body that we think less honorable we clothe with greater honor, and our less respectable members are treated with greater respect; 24whereas our more respectable members do not need this. But God has so arranged the body, giving the greater honor to the inferior member, 25that there may be no dissension within the body, but the members may have the same care for one another. 26If one member suffers, all suffer together with it; if one member is honored, all rejoice together with it.
27Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. 28And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers; then deeds of power, then gifts of healing, forms of assistance, forms of leadership, various kinds of tongues. 29Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? 30Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret? 31But strive for the greater gifts. And I will show you a still more excellent way.
‘Bound and Nurtured in God’s Love’ is the name I have given this blog. Bound together and nurtured through Word and the Sacraments, we become the faithful, pulsating, living and breathing organism called the body of Christ. We live institutionally as what has been known as “church”. As a body we always live our lives beyond the walls of the church sharing God’s love with others. In the church and the world, together, we are the living and vibrant – beautiful and majestic body of Christ.
Now retired and on disability, I find myself with a lot of time for reading and writing. That’s one of the reasons I created a blog. Much of what I share in this blog is for my own personal use. There are things I read and write that I want to save. I also find some value in sharing some of what I write or find in the writings of others. Honestly, my memory isn’t what it used to be! I also write a blog as a way of keeping/filing materials I may wish to review at a later date.