Saturday, August 23, 2008

Chewing on the Word - One Body

In Romans 12:1-8, Paul talks about 'we who are many, are one body in Christ,' each person with different gifts and functions, but all part of the one body of Christ.

I find the body metaphor extremely helpful when I look at the congregation I serve, the denomination I'm a part of, and the relationship between all churches.

It seems too easy these days to pass judgment upon those 'cells of the body' we don't like, disagree with, think are too old and 'frozen,' are convinced do not have the truth, etc. (And isn't it amazing that 'we' are always in the correct, non-offending group when we pass judgment.) In Christ, all persons and communities of faith have gifts to share for the good and vitality of the larger body. How we share those gifts is our answer to Jesus' question: "Who do you say that I am?"

Maybe it's time for us to have a 'changing of the mind,' (metanoia=repent) so that we can learn to appreciate the organic diversity within the body of Christ–the whole body. What gifts do Presbyterians bring to the body of Christ? As Christians in the Reformed tradition, our reliance upon Scripture, faith, and grace; our commitment to the priesthood of all believers; our appreciation for the faithfulness of God manifested through covenants; our deliberate willingness to reform our ways; a commitment to bear witness to the good news of Jesus; and a polity that protects against the selfish desires of both the tyrant and the mob are but some of the gifts we bring to the body of Christ.

What gifts do you bring for the common good of the one body in Christ?


Sarahlynn said...

To my rather great surprise, Rev. Dr. Magnuson started with a sci fi/time traveler illustration for this. Same point, surprising approach!

Disciple said...

I couldn't agree more with you about our need to recognize the whole Body of Christ. You write about learning to appreciate the organic diversity within the body of Christ–the whole body. I applaud that. You list some things that we Presbyterians can offer. I wish that you continue with what you hope to learn from, say, Southern Baptists, Pentecostals, and other Christian groups that are hardly ever mentioned among PC(USA) Presbyterians (other than with disdain).