From the Evangelist Desk March 2011 edition.
Does the church need to amputate?
“Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, so it is with Christ’s body. We are all parts of his one body, and each of us has different work to do. And since we are all one body in Christ, we belong to each other, and each of us needs all the others.” Romans 12:4-5 (NLT)
How do you feel? Do you feel apart of the body, with each of us having different work to do? Do you feel that you belong, to the church and to each other?
Or do you feel like a severed finger, lying on the ground, not moving, no life, being cut from the blood life of the body? Are you waiting for someone to pick you up? Someone who will carefully pack you and put you in ice with the hope of being reattached to the hand once you reach hospital.
‘We are all parts of his body’. Does the church, (that being the people of the church), understand that every one of us is apart of the body of Christ? We are all apart of being the body of His church. When you sit back and look at your church and think of the people that are still active and those that have left for whatever reason, do you feel that the church sometimes feels that it is a surgeon, amputating parts of the body that it feels no longer functions, or no longer has a purpose? Does the church amputate the parts that it doesn’t understand, that it cannot find a use for?
On occasions the church does need to perform a surgical operation on a section of the body, because a specific part may be stopping the legs from moving forward, or may cause the eye not to see. But once the surgical operation has been performed what should the church do with the amputated part? Could it be grafted into another area? Is there a waste of body parts within the church?
‘We are all parts of his body’. For a body to be fit and healthy it needs exercise, and every keep fit instructor will tell you that exercising once a week for one hour is not really that good for you. You really need to exercise for a few minutes every day. So why do some think that their Spiritual Exercise only needs to be worked at once a week for one hour or so?
‘Each part has a special function’. We are being told here that we, every one of us, has a function within the body of Christ. We all have a job to do to help the body of Christ to move forward, to progress and make inroads within the community. But how do we highlight and exploit what our function is? More to the point how does the church nurture and explore how to bring these gifts to the forefront to benefit the body as a whole?
‘And each of us has different work to do’. We all have different work to do for the Glory of God’s Kingdom, the problem is so many times we feel that we are working in seclusion, not feeling a part of the body. Is working in seclusion a bad thing? I would suggest that depending on the situation it is no bad thing, because we are not only part of the body of Christ within our own specific church, we are also part of the body of the world wide church. That being the case we can work in seclusion within our social and working lives, sharing with others and drawing them to the Kingdom, benefiting another church rather than our own, and by the same token benefiting the world wide church of Christ.
In summary, let us remember that we are all a part of the body of Christ and a good healthy body needs plenty of exercise and a good dietary regime. We can exercise our Spiritual body on a daily basis, with prayer and meditation. We can also feed on the Word of God whenever we take time out to read and digest the Bible. Let us not forget that we have the Eucharist where we are able to recharge and feed from the body of Christ, making us ready to face the trials and tasks of the coming week.
Sorry but this month so many questions have been asked and not many have been answered, but sometimes it is healthy to question.
Yours in Christ.
© Rick Hayes, March 2011