For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. – Romans 12:4-5
The Body of Christ, on this side of heaven, is so very far from perfect. Still, when even a few sisters and brothers come together in love, prayer and service, and the Body of Christ acts like the Body of Christ, it is a beautiful thing! When the Body of Christ acts like the Body of Christ, the whole Body is blessed by its diversity and its unity. Our God is blessed as we, together and using our different gifts and abilities, bless others in Jesus’ name! And it is a beautiful thing.
When the Body of Christ acts like the Body of Christ, differences in the gifts, abilities, talents, passions, perspectives and energy levels among the individual members are embraced and understood as given creatively, purposefully and lovingly – as well as with a good bit of humor – from the One and Only God, who alone is able to make us one with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Because we all belong to the one Body of Christ, we come to appreciate and give thanks for God’s truth that “each member belongs to all the others.” And it is a beautiful thing.
There will be Body blessings for each of us as we accept and celebrate the diversity of gifts that our sisters and brothers in Christ bring to our lives. Their presence and perspectives will sharpen us, encourage us and challenge us to be more like Jesus. Their diversity of gifts and abilities will fill in gaping holes where we ourselves are most lacking. There will be Body blessings for each of us as we continually, passionately and tenaciously guard and build up the unity given to us through the Spirit of God. This unity is transforming, humbling, healing, maturing and empowering for the Body of Christ as we yield to the grace and truth of God, who calls us to love each other as Jesus has loved us! And it is a beautiful thing.
Yet, since we who make up the Body are still so very far from perfect, we need to inquire of our God and look honestly and inwardly at ourselves, and ask:
Is there any way that I am diminishing or destroying the unity of the Body of Christ?
How and when and why do I not use the gifts and abilities God gave me to bless the Body?
How and when and who do I self-righteously judge, pridefully criticize and disdainfully dismiss within the Body of Christ?
How and when and who do I not love as Christ loves His Body?
How do I take the beautiful thing that the Body of Christ is meant to be and make it ugly?
Over the years I have been powerfully and tangibly loved, challenged and grown up by the Body of Christ acting like the Body of Christ. I have received intimate care during times of crisis, illness and loss. I have received sharp, yet loving and necessary, blows of correction. I have been encouraged, prayed for, and supported personally and in the transforming ministry call that God has placed on my life. I am so thankful for the Body! And it is a beautiful thing.
May each of us yield to our Lord and Savior Jesus as the true Head of the Body! For when the Body of Christ acts like the Body of Christ – when we love, honor, encourage, care for, support, gently and strongly correct our members, and tenaciously guard and protect our unity with our God and with each other – it is a beautiful thing!