Have you ever stopped to consider how amazing the human body is? When the Psalmist tells us we are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139 vs.14), he certainly knew what he was talking about!
I have been really astounded by the Invictus Games that have been filling our news recently, wounded service personnel with amazing sports talent that just leaves me completely awestruck! What astounds me is that, even after the trauma these human bodies have suffered, the “ability” to rise above “disability”. As one who is built more for comfort than speed, I have great admiration for any athlete!
The Apostle Paul uses the metaphor of the human body several times in the Bible (for example Romans 12, 1 Corinthians 12 & Ephesians 5). It is a powerful image, one that we can easily grasp and understand;
All of you are Christ’s body, and each one is a part of it.
(1 Corinthians 12 vs. 27)
You think about it, the human body is unified yet it is also diverse, hands and feet are different, nose and eyes are different and yet, we need them. The Christian church should be unified and yet, it is also diverse. I believe that a healthy Church is one that is made up of all kinds of different people, who have different backgrounds, different life experiences, different skills and abilities placed by God in the ”one body” together. When each part of the body is functioning, the church is an amazing and beautiful body that looks like Christ.
But, as Paul writes to the Church at Corinth, he was writing to a body that was not functioning as well as it might. That body was facing immense pressure from the world around it and was divided internally. In short, this was an ill body!
The challenge is, how can the body of Christ be kept healthy? There are lots of answers to that question but, in the recent church service where we focussed on this, we were offered three commitments
- Commit to Love One Another
Love is foundational. Paul goes on in 1 Corinthians 13 to say if I haven’t got love, if I am not motivated by love, if I am not committed to love, then I have nothing. We become nothing more than a clanging bell and a resounding gong, all noise and nothing gained!
Help us to love one another
As Christ Loved the church
May we truly love one another
- Commit to Forgive One Another
There isn’t one of us who is perfect. There isn’t one of us who has never made a mistake. I am sure I am not the only one who, from time to time, engages mouth before brain! (please tell me I am not the only one!!!!)
A book that has really helped me I called Hit by friendly fire – what to do when fellow believers hurt you (the author is Michael Milton). I was so touched by this book, I bought every copy I could find and passed them out to others. It helped me to move on in my journey of forgiveness.
Forgiveness is not easy but, forgiveness leads to freedom
- Commit to Encourage One Another
It’s easy to point the finger and it’s easy to find fault in others Paul writes in Philippians 4 vs. 8;
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
(Philippians 4 vs. 8)
At the risk of being declared ‘heretic’, I would go one step further than Paul, I believe we should not only think on these things but, should share and talk about these things. I believe we need to do this for each other. Look for the things to encourage.
Look for the things that are a blessing and commit to encourage one another.
I believe if we took on these commitments, we would be moving toward the body beautiful!