A Study of the Church: The People of God in Context – Day 3

The church – the people – are one unified body of believers in Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.

The church – the people – celebrate the diversity of the body –

the body does not function without all its parts …

“… but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ, from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.” (Ephesians 4:15-16)

“…and not holding fast to the head, from whom the entire body, being supplied and held together by the joints and ligaments, grows with a growth which is from God.” (Colossians 2:19).

The body needs all its parts – just as the body of Christ needs all its members.

Before, there was division, animosity, hatred.

Jesus came to put an end to such as that, and to usher in a world of peace, unity, harmony, and love.  And, he chose the Church – the people to be the ones to be bridge builders – reconcilers – repairers of the breach.

“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own, so that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.” (1 Peter 2:9-10)

“You shall raise up the foundations of many generations; you shall be called repairers of the breach, the restorers of streets to live in.” (Isaiah 58:12).

Once there was us and them, one side and the other, one race and the other.

No more.

We are the church – the body of Jesus Christ.

“There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:28).

No more.

We are the church – the body of Jesus Christ.

“For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received a spirit of adoption. When we cry, ‘Abba!  Father!’ it is that very Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and join heirs with Christ – if, in fact, we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him.” (Romans 8:14-17)

So, it is us – the body of Jesus Christ – who must look to the life of the Word of God Incarnate – Jesus Christ – to see how we, too, are called to live out life through our own lives.

In order for us to know how we are called to act, be, speak, and think in every situation and with every person we encounter, we must look to how Jesus lived.

We are the church – the body of Jesus Christ.

Without us, Jesus has no feet, no hands, no voice, no presence in the world.

With us – the body of Jesus Christ – he lives on seeking justice, freedom, equality, and equity for every human being in this nation and in every nation.

With us, – the body of Jesus Christ – his life lives on sharing his love and compassion with everyone, most especially with those in the most need – those made to be oppressed, disadvantaged, powerless, voiceless, and discriminated against by other human beings who have purposefully kept the less fortunate ones beneath themselves at the cost of their own souls.

We are the church – the body of Jesus Christ.
With us, his life and light live on as we walk humbly with God,
loving one another as God in Christ first loved us,
and sharing his love with all the world.

We are the church – the body of Jesus Christ.

Let us receive this day as it is given to us –
for the glory and honor of God;
let us receive this day as it calls to us –
to love and serve the Lord, our God.

We are the Church – the body of Jesus Christ.
Let us receive this day and live into it for his sake. Amen.

Rev. Susan Carter Wiggins, 060320