Church: the body of Christ
Romans 12: 4-5
4Because just as in one body we have many parts, and they all have different functions, 5so we too, although we are many, are one body because we are united with Christ. And we are all united with each other as different parts of one body.
Dear brothers, today we are gathered here by the grace and glory of God. Does everyone agree? (I hope I heard a warm yes or love)
In these recent weeks, some thoughts were in my head and I want to share with you. We have a small group that meets virtually to study the word of God together with Pastor Romualdo. We are honored to always be invited by Pastor João to hear his study of the word, also weekly. We have the possibility to meet on Saturday also to hear the word and worship God. But what happened to me was that, for various reasons, for two weeks I was unable to participate in the studies and I was unable to organize myself to listen to Pastor João and I was not yet present at our service last Saturday!
I was not without the word of God because I have it printed and electronically available. And I read the Bible often. However, my feeling was empty, it was a distance from God. And, glory to God, He showed me the reason for this feeling in the excerpt we read just now that is our theme today: “Church: the body of Christ”.
But let’s not limit ourselves to this definition, as the church is compared to several things in the Bible, let’s see some:
o God’s “house” or “family” – 1 Timothy 3:15 (depending on version)
0 God’s “flock” – Acts 20:28
o “Body” of Christ – Colossians 1:24
All of these allegories are used to facilitate our understanding. We can see that there is something in common in all of them: they all represent a set, a union.
Before I get lost in explanations and definitions, I want to emphasize this image:Let’s let Jesus speak:
John 13: 3-5, 12-17
3Jesus knew that the Father had given him all power. And he also knew that he had come from God and was going to God. 4Then he got up, took off his cloak, took a towel and tied it around his waist. 5Then he put water in a basin and began washing the disciples’ feet and wiping them with a towel.
12 After washing his disciples’ feet, Jesus put the cloak back on, sat down again at the table and asked:
– Did you understand what I did? 13You call me “Master” and “Lord” and you are right, because I really am. 14If I, the Lord and the Master, have washed your feet, then you must wash one another’s feet. 15For I set an example for you to do what I did. 16I tell you this is true: the employee is no more important than the boss, and the messenger is no more important than the one who sent him. 17 Since you know this truth, you will be happy if you practice it.
In this excerpt Jesus brings us today’s message directly: He knew that the Father had given him all the power, He affirmed himself as master and lord, he placed himself as the least of the servants in the house.
Even more brothers, we need to remember that in a group not everyone likes us equally. What Jesus did in this regard is shown in the following excerpt:
18 – I am not talking about all of you; I know those I chose. For what the Holy Scriptures say must be fulfilled: “He who takes meals with me has turned against me”.
Look, brothers, that Jesus even though there was a traitor in the group, did not reject him, did not treat him with less value than the others.
For our church to fit the words of the Bible such as “house”, “family”, “flock” or “body” of Christ, humility must always be present. No one needs to think that it is more important or less important. It is important for each of us to dedicate ourselves to doing with love what God has assigned us as a task.
To close this message so direct, we cannot fail to read together the favorite Psalm of Pastor Irani:
1 How good and pleasant it is that God’s people live together as if they were all brothers! 2 It is like the fragrant oil on Aaron’s head, which goes down through his beards and the collar of his priestly robe. 3 It is like the dew of Mount Hermon, which falls on the mountains of Zion. For it is in Zion that the Lord God gives his blessing, life forever.
Let us pray:
Beloved father who keeps us united and protected under his power, helps us to grow in wisdom and humility. Help us to understand more and more the challenges and duties of each one. May we know how to position ourselves and help each other as his servants, following the example of our Master Jesus Christ. Amen!