Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Body

I spend a lot of time thinking of the Church as a body. This has a strong biblical basis, esp. in Paul's writings, and I believe it is great way for us to imagine what it means to be the church.

I remember one author I read said that the Church is not an organization, but rather it is an organism. It is a living, breathing body made up of many different and necessary parts. This body has a head - Christ - and it is this head that gives us the direction for the body to go. That is why we should always be in prayer, trying to discern what God's will is for us and how we can live out that will in our lives.

And the body is made up of so many diverse parts, as all bodies are. Each part is unique and plays an important part in the life of the body. Without all the parts, the body is incomplete. As members of this body, we all have different roles to play. We are blessed with different gifts and each gift needs to be used for the body function at its peak performance. That is why it is important for all of us to work at ways to discover what our gifts are and then put those gifts to work, making the body healthier and reaching out to others to grow the body.

So as I have been reflecting on the "Body Image" of the church, I have been thinking about the diversity we have in this body. We have gifted muscians, speakers, pray-ers, visitors, planners, do-ers, etc. Not all people can do all things, and this is the beauty of the body. We all have been given different gifts, and it is in this diversity we that we see the face of God in new and different ways.

And as a living, breathing organism, the body needs to function - exercise as it may be - to be the healthiest it can be. I know that with my body, when I exercise my body is healthier and I am able to do more with it. It is the same with the body of the Church. When we use our gifts, when we share what we have been given, the Body of Christ is healthier, and more able to reach out to others and welcome them into this body that gives life.

So my prayers today focus on the Body - and how we, as parts of this Body, can discern the gifts God has given us, and have the courage to use those gifts in the life of the Church and the world as a whole. May we all be blessed with insight and wisdom, so we may help to grow this Body and empower others to use their gifts as well.

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