June 2023 – Church as a body

1 Corinthians 12:12-27

The Church is something which is communitarian – made up of many parts. It’s not a blob, not one mass; not a voice, but plural voices. Each part is special and has a part to play in the making up of the whole. Indeed, Paul goes to some lengths here to make the point that the less public parts are just as important as the more public parts. The role of the person who serves us tea is no less important than the preacher; the one who prepares the powerpoint, no less important than the one who broadcasts it; the one who sings their praises is a quiet voice at the back of the church hall, no less important than the one who is given a microphone.

But the point Paul is stressing in this passage, is that we need to own up to being part of the body and not going solo. He talks of an eye or an ear going off on their own and asking how would that one part survive without the rest. Crazy idea – eye sitting on the floor – it needs the rest of the body to be an eye. Isolationism doesn’t work – we can only be a body by all of our body working together to assist the other parts. A dissected body is a dead body.

But being together means that we share experiences. If one part suffers, we all suffer. If one part rejoices, we all rejoice. Being part of the body means we share the experiences of the other parts, we join in community with one another. Power of the Whatsapp Group, with fellowship groups, with prayer groups. An opportunity to share together in our joint experience of being a Christian community.

This feast reminds us that the body of Christ isn’t just an earthly thing – we join with all the saints, with the hosts of heaven, with the heavenly court. We join with the saints who have gone to glory and with those who praise God on the earth. We are part of a larger body. High St is just one organ in something much much larger and indeed universal. We believe that we join here with the saints who have gone before. We join here with the church around the world. We join here with those in freedom and those who are locked in jail for their faith. We are one with them as we share bread together. One with the worldwide body of Christ across all ages.


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