By: Staci Stallings
Christ is the head and the Church is the Body of Christ.
I’ve been thinking about the ramifications and manifestations of this spiritual truth over this past week, and when you really think about the symbolism and how it relates to our lives practically, it’s nothing short of revolutionary!
For example, we are all called to be the Body of Christ. So what is a “body”? What does it do? What is it’s main function?
Well, one is to be a physical manifestation of a spirit. My body is different than yours just as my spirit is different. Our bodies shape us and define us.
For some, the body becomes all important, but the body itself is only temporary. It is something to hold the spirit which is eternal.
The same is true for us as the Body of Christ. We are the physical manifestations of God in the world.
Think about that for a moment, please.
WE, each one of us, broken, scarred, hurting, sad, scared, lonely… are the physical manifestations of God!
The Spirit, God’s Spirit, which gives us life, moves and breathes and exists in the world in the body of each Christian. When others look at us and to us for witness, they are rightly saying, “The way this person acts is a representation of God Himself.” But is it? Are we? Are we living up to that calling?
Or are we calling ourselves Christians while living as if we’d never even heard of Jesus?
As Casting Crowns says, (paraphrase) we stand at the altar and we have this closeness with God, and then somehow we lose that between the altar and the door. We forget to LIVE as Christians. We forget we are the body, the physical being of God here on earth. What a travesty!
However, that’s not where the symbolism stops. Look at your own body. What do you do if it is hurting?
Well, that probably depends on how much it’s hurting, right? A little twinge in a finger probably won’t net life-saving heroics. We put a bandage on it and pretty much forget about it.
But what if that twinge is a gash that’s bleeding? Now things are more serious.
I did this very thing one time. I was chopping weeds (I know!) with a pipe at my dad’s farm when I was about ten, and I caught my little finger between the pipe and a piece of metal on the downswing (no, I don’t recommend doing that!). It severed the tip of my little finger all but a small piece that was holding it together.
The first thing I did was scream for help! Literally! And everyone came running. There was blood everywhere. They loaded me up, took me to the E.R. and I got three stitches in it. Eventually it healed to be like new again.
What about us in the Body of Christ? What if one of our members is hurting or bleeding? Do we hear their cries? Or do we try to put a bandage on a wound that needs more serious attention?
Sadly, I think we do this “just enough to get them to stop whining” problem-solving too often. I see it with people who quote Scripture at those who are hurting. Now there is nothing wrong with quoting Scripture, but when the other person really needs a hug and a long, long talk, it’s pretty shallow and empty.
Sometimes “triage” in the Body of Christ means sitting down and listening to someone, being there for them, and letting Christ speak through us.
None of this is easy and it takes a lot of time. But if we are on this earth to be the Body of Christ to others, what more important task do you have?