body

Community–if I may put this rather lamely–is where it’s at. It’s what we’re created for. We’re not just a “Body” that can pretend the other parts of itself don’t exist.

Why did God decide to call His followers/family/groupies the “Body” instead of, say, the “Mind” or the “Great Idea” or something equally obtuse? Perhaps we are called the Body because of how we understand our own bodies to work. No matter what your education level or culture, you know that a body is an organized, animated object that spends its lifetime engaging the world around it. The body has no choice but to interact physically and purposefully with what is outside of itself. It’s a physical life, an active life, that requires regular contact to simply survive.

So what about “The Body of Messiah”? Aren’t we supposed to interact, affect, animate, engage, and touch that which is outside? How can we survive as followers of God if we don’t? And how can our Messiah make any difference in our world if we, his actual Body, don’t do it in his stead? Notice that the group of people known as “Believers in Messiah” are given gifts that require action or interaction. What believer can say that God gave them the spiritual gift of “being”? Or the gift of “thinking”? That would do no good except to serve oneself. Even the gift of “faith”demands action. Can one keep faith to his or herself or should they use it for the good of the community? 1 Corinthians 12:7 answers that by saying:

7 Moreover, to each person is given the particular manifestation of the Spirit that will be for the common good.

So even “faith” must be used as a verb. How often do we live like this? Like every single action we take is the animated reality and physical manifestation of who Messiah is? How often do we use every gift as a verb instead of a medal of honor or a badge of identity?

Does being a “Body” matter to you? Do you think we are one complete Body even though we are filled with disagreement and dissension? Can we be a Body in this state?

I welcome your insight!

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6 thoughts on “body

  1. Fantastic! Excellent take on this subject. I’ve always loved this metaphor for the church, I think it is one the most masterful illustrations the Apostle Paul used to describe the church. Also, thank you so kindly for leaving a comment at our humble little site. Wishing you great success in all your present and future endeavors!

  2. I think the body is Christ collectively working within us doing God’s will and not the disagreement and dissension. Just as Christ can be in you and you can still choose to sin, so can people in the body choose to bicker and still be part of the body. It is neither Christ that is sinning when we choose to sin nor is it the body of Christ that is full of disagreement and dissension when people in the body choose to do so.

    Just my thoughts.

  3. Hear, hear! Any discussion of the Body and that it is/must be/isn’t being, but should be a community is a good excuse for having a blog. Although I see you have quite the passion for blogging! Holy Cats!

    Anyway, have you read Dietrich Bonhoeffer on community? Excellent, excellent insights, particularly for a pre-Torah movement dude (who knows perhaps prison has that effect on one…to emphasize an awareness of the necessity of community for truly biblical living)

  4. Nate: yes I’ve read him (love him!). The book you’re speaking of is probably “Life Together”, right? Great book!
    Have you read his book “The Cost of Discipleship” where he talks about Yeshua’s infamous Sermon on the Mount, especially the part about no jot or tittle passing away? Fabulous stuff there too. He’s a hero of mine.
    Thanks for your comment!

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