Many Parts, One Body

The psalmist proclaims that we are wonderfully complex, uniquely created, marvelous pieces of workmanship. (Psalm 139) Paul reminds us in Ephesians that we are God’s masterpiece, his poiema, created anew in Christ to do the things he planned for us long ago. (Ephesians 2:10) If these things are so, if God’s word is trustworthy, then we must be fully the very expression of God in us. It is for us to know that we have a place, a call, a Kingdom job.

The Church — in all of its beauty and complexity and extensive mystery – is the movement and the very embodiment of Christ on this earth. How will the world know the expansive and intimate love of God if the Body is crippled by the ways in which we wound each different part, and thus wounding the whole?

How can Jesus carry his love through to the weak and weary if we are constantly disqualifying ourselves and disqualifying each other? How will beautiful feet carry good news if the mouths think they are the most important part? How might healing hands touch the sick and dying if they are relying only on all of the other hands and completely ignoring the impulses of the heart, the value of the ears, the intricacies of the lungs?

We simply cannot be effective on our own. We simply cannot be functional without the image of God reflected in each of one. We simply cannot be a complete picture of Christ unless each uniquely made part cooperates by being whom they were created to be and by doing what they were created to do. When we stop comparing and contrasting and live into the beauty of God alive in us, we are free to compliment and add life to all of those around us. Vitality begins to pulse through the veins of the Body. Rifts and tears are healed. And the Body of Christ moves and has its being on this earth.

What kind of impact, what kind of glory, what kind of movement would this be?

The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ. I Corinthians 12:12

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