A phrase you will often hear in churches is that “we are the body of Christ.” This means that because Jesus is no longer living as a physical human in the world, it is up to those of us who are physically living to do the hands-on work towards love and justice that needs to be done in the world. With God’s guidance, we have to carry on the work that Jesus began in his ministry of teaching and healing 2000 years ago.
But there is more to the idea of being Christ’s body. The Apostle Paul wrote in Romans 12:4-5: “Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.”
Not only are we Christ’s physical being in the world, but we each have a special part to play, making us stronger as a whole.
Each person helps the body in a different way, just like your fingers do one job and your eyes do another in your body. Together, we make up something much bigger than ourselves, something more than any of us can be or do on our own, and this is important because the world is crying out for more justice, healing and sharing of love.
Church is one of those places you can connect with others to be a part of something larger, so that together we can make a positive difference in the world on a larger scale than we can alone. When we celebrate our different gifts and let go of jealousy over the giftedness of others, we can become a powerful force for good.
Perhaps you might not even know what gifts you bring to the larger group. Perhaps you think because you can’t do what others do, you don’t have any gifts to share, but that would be like a finger saying it isn’t useful because it can’t hear like an ear can. Even if your gifts aren’t obvious to you, they will probably become obvious to the rest of the group once you take a chance to become part of it.
Come and share yourself with your community. The world needs your unique contribution to the larger whole. There’s a place for you in the Body of Christ. Come make a difference.
Robin Murray is the pastor of Castlegar United Church.