Both in 1 Corinthians and Ephesians, Paul describes the Church as the body of Christ. He spends time in 1 Corinthians explaining the importance of every member to the body, and in Ephesians he reminds us that those members need to be unified in Christ. This week, there has been a real-life reminder of how the body works together as one. Although there are many members of our body, they are combined to form one body and each member affects the entire body.
Thursday I was just about to go out and meet with someone who attends Engage,
when my phone rang. It was the high school calling to let me know that Abby had
dislocated her shoulder and had asked them to call me instead of an ambulance.
As I got to the school, she was in the nurses office and in quite a bit of
pain. As the nurse wheeled her outside, every bump and crack in the sidewalk
sent a vibration through Abby that signaled pain from her shoulder to her
brain. Her entire body felt and was affected by the pain of one of its members.
Over the next few minutes, I tried to balance between driving quickly and driving
smoothly, avoiding as many bumps and unjulations in the road as I could on the
way to the ER.
I had called and cancelled my appointment, and was grateful that after an initial communication about the need to cancel and the reason why, I received another communication around an hour later asking about Abigail and how she was doing. Later that evening, I received another text asking how we were and if there was anything we needed. Both of these examples show the truth about the body of Christ.
Just as Abigail’s entire body reacted to and felt the pain of her shoulder, so too is the church impacted when any part of it struggles or is in pain. We bear one another’s burdens and feel each other’s pains and joys, not because we are just nice people, but because we are united in Christ. We are His body in this local expression we call Engage, and we belong to each other.
In the same way, the support and encouragement received and well wishing texts, show a care and strength that being a part of the body entails. We are here to build each other up and to love one another. Concern and offers of care are what the body is for. We are family and this is the reason God has united us, to encourage one another and to spur each other on in love and with good deeds.
This month, we will be talking about church membership. What is it? Why is it necessary? How is it different than membership in a club or organization? What does it require and provide? It is my prayer that at the end of this series we all will be more united in Christ; one faith, one Lord, one baptism, one body.