Monday, February 6, 2012

Body Parts

During the last couple of posts, I have continued to “introduce” my spirituality to you by sharing what is probably the pinnacle of my spiritual journey, as far as my ministry goes. It is the formative understanding that we are the body of Christ. It changes everything when we live into this mystery.

It might be simplistic, but over the years I have boiled this Pauline metaphor down to a way of understanding the basic purposes of the church and how they work together. Imagine for a moment the main sections of the human body. We have a trunk containing the heart and vital organs, plus two legs, two arms, and a head.

The very heart of the church is worship, which sends lifeblood into the whole body to make it grow and become. I have a passion for vibrant worship because I believe it feeds everything. I don’t think of us as consumers, coming to be entertained, but as the body of Christ, needing nourishment for the journey. The “legs” of the church, if you will, are teaching and fellowship. These two are so very important in taking us places where we need to go. Solid spiritual formation experiences and life-giving relationships both undergird us so that we might serve.

The “arms” of the church would then be evangelism and mission. As I shared in recent sermons, these are both core purposes, the left and right hands of the church. We are called to be radically hospitable, inviting people to a relevant relationship with Christ. We are also called to offer hands of mercy and work for justice in a broken world.

The head of the church, of course, is Christ. We believe in his pervasive and guiding presence in all that we do.