You are the body of Christ and individually members of her.
Reading from the book of the Prophet Isaiah, Jesus said, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring Good News…” to proclaim the Word of the Lord.
Talking about that same Spirit, Paul destroys the arguments of those who think/say they don’t need to go to church to be a Christian; that they can worship God just as well at home, or on the golf course, or fishing, or at the (type)ball game, or…” All those things are available so they don’t have to go to church.
They usually say they are not ‘religious’ or that they are ‘spiritual.’
What they are forgetting (if they ever knew it), is just how ‘fleshy’ Jesus has made his Church – it is a Church based on relationships, not on rules; on submission, not on doing exactly what we want; on communalism, not on individualism.
The Church is always ‘we,’ and never ‘me.’
Why can’t we do as much ‘spiritually’ as we can on our own? Paul says we can’t because “the body is one with many members, and all the members [of the body], though many, are one body, as it is with Christ.
The Church is exactly like God, who is the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. There are three, yet there is one. the Church, though made up of many members (hundreds of millions of them), is yet one body, who head is Christ. There is no way around that.
In our baptism, we become part of that one body, whether we were Jews (God’s Chosen People), or Greeks (outcasts from God’s blessings), slave (God’s punished ones) or free (God’s blessed ones) – all are in and of one body, who head is Jesus himself and who is empowered by one Holy Spirit. In another place, Paul adds males (rulers) and females (submitters) to this list, but it is, in reality, endless – rich or poor, black or white (or yellow, or brown, or red, or orange).
The biggest categories are those of saints or sinners. Regardless of where we begin, we become one in Christ, one in the Spirit.
And when pieces of the body are missing, it creates problems. Ask anyone who has lost a limb, or an eye, or an ear, or even one tooth. It changes how you do all kinds of things. I remember when my grandmother had to have her big toe removed. She had to learn to walk all over again.
While you may be fine being spiritual all by yourself, the Church suffers because you are a vital part of who that body is. This may be the day you were to be used in healing, or in power, or in assistance, or in leadership, or in hospitality. Without your presence, the Church suffers the loss of that specific gift needed for that day.
God always works in plurality – that’s who he is. Because he knew how the God-head functioned, Jesus formed his Church to function just like that. When all are in unity and living together under the one Holy Spirit, the Church is strong and able to do all that God gives it to do. And the stronger it gets the more God gives it to do. We can be ready to act – because all the gifts are here on the very day they are needed. Pastor Tere
Sunday 10 am January 24
4th Sunday after the Epiphany
1 Corinthians 13:1-13
Sundays@9 am Acts of the Apostles
Tuesdays@7 pm Revelation of John
Thursdays@10 am Revelation of John
204 SW 104th St.
Oklahoma City, OK 73139
405 759-3190 (leave message)
ChristourRedeemerOKC [at] live.com