Friday, September 05, 2014
For as in one body we have many members, and not all the members have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually we are members one of another. We have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us. .
Where Christ is
We are one body in Christ. You are part of Christ ... as am I.
To touch you is to touch Christ. To touch and teach and feed and love others is to let another person know the touch of Christ, physically present and real.
Recently, I led large funeral. Many current members of our congregation were there as well as people who were once members who have moved away ... or moved to other congregations because there was something there that they needed.
But they returned for this day because they loved the person who died. They had shared life and love and faith with her and her family.
Would there have been as much of Christ in the room if one of them were missing ... or two ... or 10 ... or 50?
Truth is … Christ would have been less present in the room had they not been there.
The love of Christ would have been less real, less known, less powerful ... because that part of Christ ... that particular expression of Christ’s love that is in their lives would have been missing.
But they were there because they are part of this one ... marvelous ... and very physical body of Christ in the world in which everyone has a part to play, a life to live, a love to share that expresses that of Christ they were born to bring to the world.
And if they … or you … do not bring it, Christ’s love is less present because the world and everyone around you is denied that shape the love of Christ is pleased to take in your life.
Christ was more real and vibrant among us, and we felt it … together … because more of his body was present bearing grace and blessing for all.
Is it any wonder we need each other so much.
Pr. David L. Miller
Thursday, September 04, 2014
For as in one body we have many members, and not all the members have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually we are members one of another. We have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us . .
We are many, but we are one body of Christ. This means we each are something of Christ to each other. It also means that we need each other … desperately,
I have never understood those who flee into isolation when troubles come. Perhaps their emotional wiring is different from mine, but I shake my head in sadness when I see someone retreat into aloneness--and remain there--when they encounter loss and grief, disease or conflict.
On one hand, we have needs to be alone at times to think and emote. But withdrawal cuts us off from Christ, who is experienced in this world as a body, the physical bodies of those who bear his Spirit and have been given gifts and abilities through which something his life may be experienced.
Isolation … pulling away from the body, the church, the people who know and love him … is separation from Christ.
Yes, he can knock down our walls or walk through the closed doors of our hearts most any time. The resurrection means at least this much.
But there is a body, a people who are connected at the heart to Christ, the Heart of the Universe. Together, they make up his body in the world, sharing the warm blood of his life pumped through them by that Great Heart.
In that body, his Heart is pumps the blood of creative love that gives us life when we feel dead, hope when hopeless. It shares our joy and passes it along to other members joined in this one great Heart.
To be part of a body is to need the other parts … and to know the other parts need you--who you are and what you have--even if you think you have not much to offer.
The life of the body, its joy and purpose is diminished when we are not united in the heart of Christ … when we withdraw and deny our presence to the rest of the body.
We are so much more … together … so much more joy and love, more grace and beauty … more than we are apart.
So reject the impulse to withdraw into isolation because you hurt or are uncertain..
Reject the temptation to withdraw from the body of Christ because you are insanely busy or because the cancer of apathy eats at you … or because there are people there who are at least as imperfect and frustrating as you are.
You belong to the body of Christ in which you are a member. You need them to know the love of Christ, They need you, what is in your heart, hands and mind.
And I need you … desperately.
Without each other the body of Christ, his presence in the world, remains incomplete … as incomplete as the joy Christ seeks to give us … together.
Pr. David L. Miller