Wednesday, March 9, 2022 - The Body of Christ compared to the Human Body
As I thought of ways the Body of Christ is like the human body, I thought of “many parts, many gifts”. But this being Lent and a time of reflection of our attitudes and behaviors I thought about comparing the body’s diseases with the Body of Christ - the body being the church, while Christ is perfect, as humans we make mistakes.
As a nurse, I saw that there are so many things that can go wrong in our biological bodies, and it is a miracle that any of us survives being born let alone living as long as we do!
The one part of the body that comes to mind, especially with what we have been dealing with the past 2 years with COVID and vaccines is the immune system. The immune system is meant to protect us from foreign substances that can cause harm and even death. It starts with the skin, the protective layer that is meant to keep out germs that can eat at our inner tissues. It involves the spleen, the White Blood Cells, antibodies, immunoglobulins, and T-cells. When we get symptoms of illness, it is very often our immune system fighting off the perpetrator that threatens our lives!
BUT! In many cases, the immune system can also cause diseases that prevent us from living a life of quality and makes us vulnerable to more diseases! Sometimes treating a cancer can harm the immune system. Conversely, sometimes the immune system can destroy a part of the body, weakening it, as in arthritis, or Lupus.
In the same way, the good intentions of the boundaries of our doctrine or beliefs that are meant to prevent a “cancer of sin" in our midst can also harm our church and its members. How many times have we heard stories of someone leaving the church because of some interpretation of the Bible, a doctrine or definition, or sin or disagreement? The system that is supposed to protect the church can unintentionally offend a member and send them reeling and doubting and leaving our faith! A gift of that person could have strengthened the body but instead it lost a part of it! How hard is it to bring that person back into our arms, to support them in their needs, to encourage them to trust in God, to indulge in the communion of hope!
I could go on and on with analogies but let me leave you with this idea: Let us pray for guidance and be careful with the boundaries we set to keep the body of Christ safe. Let us pray for discernment and trust. Let us use our gifts from God wisely and for healing. May God have mercy on our church as we strive to live out the mission His Son has started!
If then there is any encouragement in Christ, any consolation from love, any sharing in the Spirit, any compassion and sympathy, 2 make my joy complete: be of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. 3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others.
Phyllis L. Verderame
The people of Grace share their favorite bible stories for the 2023 Lenten Devotional: I Love to Tell the Story. Each day's devotional will be automatically posted so come back daily after 7 am for a new reflection.