One thing is for sure – every person alive has a body. Our body may be tall or short; stocky or slim; male or female; or a host of other possibilities, but we have a body and that body is what other people see. Therefore, it becomes how people identify with us.
Another thing is absolutely true — our bodies are not indestructible. One grandson broke his arm when he jumped off a slide in an attempt to avoid a puddle at the bottom!
Another grandson broke his leg while at the hospital when he found out that he was going to be a big brother to a little sister.
When I fell in Alaska, I severely broke my left ankle.
This resulted in surgery and over 9 weeks of non-weight bearing and significant use of a wheelchair, with later graduation to a walking boot, and then physical therapy. Subsequent to this injury and repair, I needed to have left knee surgery to strengthen and repair a torn meniscus. And then, I had to have right knee replacement because of, in part, the damage caused by twisting my leg when I turned my body to get into the wheelchair.
Praise the Lord that there is healing for our bodies. Both the grandsons have completely healed and they act as if the broken limbs never happened. The Lord has healed my body from its various surgeries and there is physical therapy ongoing.
The past two years have impressed upon me the interaction and interconnection of the various parts of our bodies. When one part of our body is injured, the rest of the body comes to its aid. For example, when you get a splinter in your finger, white blood cells congregate at that site to get the invader out! Or, consider people who cannot hear but who have extraordinary eyesight; or those who have been rendered blind and they recount how their hearing has improved.
In the New Testament of Scripture, we often read about the Body of Christ. This phrase is used in three senses. First, the phrase refers to the physical body of Jesus which according to Philippians 3:21 is the model for the resurrection bodies of Christians. Second, the phrase refers to the bread of the Lord’s Supper, or communion, a sacrament of the Church. 1 Corinthians 10:16. Third, the phrase Body of Christ is used by Paul as a symbol of the church. 1 Corinthians 12:12-27.
In Romans 12:5, Paul describes the church as being one body in Christ, each member belonging to all the others. In other words, the church encompasses in a single community all those who are united to Christ by the Holy Spirit through faith.
It is the community of believers who are responding to Jesus’ call to “Follow me.” Christ commissioned His followers to carry on His work and that is the Church’s reason for existence. In short, the Body of Christ gives to the world the hands, feet and voice of our Lord. The Body of Christ is the church in action.
Just as our physical bodies have different parts with different functions, so the Body of Christ is made up of believers who have different spiritual gifts, abilities and interests.
- Not everyone is a preacher – but we all must be able to tell others of our Lord Jesus by giving our own personal testimony.
- Not everyone is a singer for the choir – but we all are to praise God and make a joyful noise!
- Not everyone has the gift of hospitality – but we all must extend love and assistance to those in need when we are able to do so.
In other words, we as believers in Jesus Christ are not clones of each other. In His providence and sovereignty, God has equipped His church, the Body of Christ, with those people who can fulfil specific needs. Each of us need to do the task which is intended for them to fill.
We each have the responsibility to fulfil the role assigned to us in the Body of Christ because it belongs to you, not to anyone else. Sure, others could do it if you don’t, but you will miss out on the blessing of obedience to God if you fail to be obedient and you will be putting stress on other parts of the Body who are trying to take care of your job as well as their own.
My right leg helped get me down the stairs when I could not put weight on my left leg; however it was at the expense of my right knee which had to be replaced because of the exacerbated damage caused during those 9 weeks of twisting into the wheelchair. In other words, the Body accomplished what needed to be done, but it was more costly than it would have been if my left leg had been operational.
“If We Are the Body” is a song recorded by Christian rock band Casting Crowns. Written by Mark Hall and produced by Mark A. Miller and Steven Curtis Chapman, it was released as the lead single from the band’s 2003 self-titled debut album through Beach Street Records on July 26, 2003. Mark Hall, lead singer and a youth minister, said that “If We Are the Body” was originally written for use in teaching his youth group what the Christian church was for. Each person in the Body of Christ is given gifts to use in ministry; and when Christians refuse to use the gifts given to them, the Body suffers.
We don’t know those who are to be recipients of the salvation provided by Christ’s atoning work on the cross. What we do know is that the Body of Christ, the Church, is to witness to the world — that is to each one who the Lord brings into our path.
“If We Are the Body” closes with the haunting words:
Jesus paid much too high a price
For us to pick and choose who should come
And we are the body of Christ
Jesus is the way
I pray, as members of the Body of Christ, that we would accomplish our tasks and then assist other parts of the Body as well, rather than being those who sit back and let the Body go on without their input.
Don’t miss out on the blessing of service to our Lord. If you are a believer in Christ Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you are part of the Body of Christ and you have a role to play in the church for which you have been equipped, and that role is singularly yours.
Praise the Lord that He has enabled us to become part of the Body of Christ, the church, to His glory and to the honor and glory of God the Father.