“…God has put the body together, giving greater honour to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honoured, every part rejoices with it. Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.” 1 Corinthians 12:24-27 NIV.
“…speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.” Ephesians 4:15-16 NIV.
Jesus is the head – we are connected to Him and through Him, we are interconnected with each other!
If I was to trip over something and fall and cut my knee, my body would very quickly know about it! I would feel pain; my voice would cry out, ‘Ouch!’; my hand would automatically reach down and feel the wetness of blood; I would then reach into my pocket for a handkerchief. This is all because my hurting knee is connected to my head by nerve pathways. Internally my brain would also be telling the platelets in my blood to start their clotting mechanism and an increase in white cells at the wound site would also start the healing process: guarding against infection, removing dead cells. That’s a very basic explanation, but you get the idea! Christ is the head and “each part does its work.”
Keeping with the medical analogies – we hear with more than our ears!! We often have been told that we need to “listen to your body!” Symptoms such as pain, swelling, prolonged fatigue etc., can be telltale signs that something is not right with our bodies.
Transfer that analogy over to the Church. What does the body of Christ here in Ireland look like – locally, nationally? The verses above talks of honour, no division, equal concern, support, growth, each part doing its work – this is for the mutual benefit of all!
Diagnosis: a very sick body!
In John 17 Jesus prayed for us – “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one – I in them and you in me – so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.”
This is the great Physician Jesus speaking – healing for the broken body, the Church, has been made possible though His death on the cross! How badly do we want His remedy?
Father, I come to You as part of Your body, the Church. I am sorry for the ill health of Your Church in this land, and for any part I have played in that. I want to walk in wholeness in You and I want that for the rest of Your body. May I, may we, know that healing, a healing that flows through all of us, as we submit to You as our head. Amen.