Being the body

What does it mean to be the body of Christ? A number of things are beginning to come together for me…

…a worship service full of people I didn’t know which felt like coming home…
…recent training in the Immanuel  lifestyle/prayer, which teaches that our brains work differently in a relationship with another person and differently again with two or more others to relate to…
…our recent adult Sunday School series on what it means to be a community of worship and mission…
…discussions on spiritual gifts and how they are not for ourselves, but the building up of the church…
…my own recognition that my prayer life stagnates when it is simply me “on my own;” that it is in sharing insights that I discern greater insights..
…and it is in listening to the ways others see God that I gain more appreciation and love for him as well as love and appreciation for others and how God has made them.

What does it mean to be the church, to be the body of Christ? It is a rich area of study, but to lay aside the study and to petition God to enter the fullness of this mystery is a much greater gain. There is such abundance here that to try and describe it is to flatten or deaden it. Yet we can treat each small example of “being the body” as the side of a prism, a facet that reflects the true nature of who we are collectively in a new way.

Today, something shifted in me.I realized that the “I” approach even to “my” quiet time is false. The “I” is useless without the interaction of others. In a “just me and Jesus” Christianity, we get caught in the cycle of self-analysis, being our own shrink, diagnosing our own problems, seeking to manufacture our own healing balm. On the other hand, if I accept that I am already a part of the body, I already have a role to play. Just as a skin cell isolated from other skin cells and blood cells and nerve cells and bone cells cannot live, neither can I really live without the constant interaction of my brothers and sisters in Christ.

It’s not about being right or wrong, it’s about living as Christ has called us.

Lord, teach me to live more and more fully in the mystery of your body, rejecting the independence of the world, relying on your children my brothers and sisters to help me to grow, live and rejoice more and more fully in you; let all of us submit more and more of ourselves to your Son, our glorious Head by the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

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