now the body…

Now the body is not made up of one part,
but of many.

If they were all one part,
where would the body be?

As it is,
there are many parts,
but one body.

How well do we reflect the body of Christ?
Not only in gifts,
but in viewpoint?
in race?
in wealth?
in culture?
in background?

As individual gatherings of Christ’s people
do we look like a complete body
or like a collection of noses,
with a collection of eyes across the street
and a group of feet down the road?

Now the body is not made up of one part…

4 Replies to “now the body…”

  1. All the parts exist – somewhere. The problem is we’ve been dismembered. Arms, fingers, ears, toes, and noses have been scattered and collected within individual churches. Some of this is beyond our control but not all. The bigger question is whether we welcome or shun someone who represents a different part? Are they viewed as an asset or a problem.

    I feel that sometimes I’m like a 6-pack stomach muscle. When times are fat, my spiritually is usually hidden under layers of insulation (pride, wealth, personal intelligence etc…). The only time my spirtuality comes to the surface is difficulties arise, the nourishment disappears, and I’m forced to the surface. I would rather show up due to hard work and constant diligence but I feel that I’m usually only there due to spiritual starvation.

  2. i completely agree with your first paragraph, and that’s part of what i was trying to get at. my prayer is that the churches which make up the body of Christ will become more than a disjointed set of parts grouped with similar other parts – that we will become a true reflection of the larger body to which we all belong.

    i particularly like your analogy of abnominal muscles… the only thing i think i would add is that i long to exist in a constant state of spiritual starvation – to be truly poor in spirit and recognize that my spiritual well-being and nourishment comes only from God.

  3. i didn’t mean to imply that my spirituality was based on “works.” rather, i want to have a spiritual relationship where i “train my body like the athlete” as paul suggests and i use hard work to build my spirituality and develop a richer and deeper relationship with God.

    you bring up an interesting concept that makes me think a bit: does being poor in spirit equal spiritual starvation? if we’re in a constant state of starvation, are we in a position to nourish others? i’ll need to think about that one.

  4. i certainly didn’t mean to suggest that your comments implied that your spirituality was based on works. i certainly believe, as paul writes to timothy, that we should “train ourselves to be Godly…”, and that this holds much value.

    your counterpoint brings into discussion an angle i hadn’t intended when i originally wrote the first reply. to expand on that thought (and yours) a bit, i don’t necessarily know that we are called to nourish others, but rather to be “beggars showing other beggars where there is bread.”

    i certainly don’t know the balance to be in right now, but i think a state exists where we are able to both be aware of the depth of our own spiritual need and simultaneously take care (in some sense) of the needs of others. ultimately, we are only God’s instruments in the nourishment and sustenance of other parts of the body. to bring in a biological analogy, the heart and lungs and stomach and intestines couldn’t function to bring life to the rest of the body were it not for oxygen and food being consumed. in a similar way, we each depend on the constant spiritual and physical provision of God in order not only to assuage our own needs, but allow us to minister to others as well.

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