THE BODY OF CHRIST
The human body is made up of many parts (arms, fingers, legs, toes, trunk, eyes, ears, nose etc.), and each has a different function. Most individuals, at some time or another, have had injuries or experiences that led to some body part being unable to function comfortably and efficiently. I recently had left shoulder surgery to repair a rotator cuff tear. It has been over four weeks since surgery, but that arm is still out of commission.
Under the circumstances, my right arm, with no prior preparation or warning, was faced with taking over the duties of the left arm. It has not been easy. I never used to give any thought to which arm I was going to engage when I did this or the other. But now I have to stop, ask myself what I need to do, and determine which arm will be up to the task. Although my right arm tries its best, it has not been able to comfortably and efficiently accomplish tasks usually performed by the left arm, or tasks they performed jointly. Taking a shower, getting dressed, and making the bed have all become quite challenging. If my right arm could talk to the left arm, it might say something like: “I am tired of doing all the work. You are just being lazy. Why did you have to have that surgery anyway?”
Similarly, the Church (born-again people, not denominations, and not buildings) is called the body of Christ because born-again individuals, collectively, form the Church. We each have a specific function we are gifted or equipped to perform to grow the body and to advance the cause of Christ. The Bible explains it this way, “Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body” (Rom 12:4-5).
We need to take our responsibilities in the Body seriously, remembering that if we don’t pull our weight, those who try to pick up behind us might not do as good a job. Consequently, the body might suffer, and God’s work could be hindered. If we fulfill our individual responsibilities, we can collectively then, as the Church, be able to fulfill the Great Commission (Mt 28:19-20).
Having said that, what is your gift or talent in the Church (your local body as well as globally)? Have you identified it? Do you take it seriously or do you treat it casually? When you are needed for some task at church, do you say to yourself, “When I have time; I am too tired; I’ll go later; I will call him/her later,” etc.?
The Church is Jesus’ only avenue of spreading the gospel; He did not assign that responsibility to anyone else. What should we do, considering time is running out? We each need to understand that we have God-given roles, and take these roles seriously to see the Church mature and grow numerically to the glory of God.
In Matthew 25:14-30, Jesus carefully emphasized the importance of being conscientious about how we use what has been entrusted to us (everything). When we stand before Him, we’ll have to give an account of how we’ve used our gifts/talents. It will be quite embarrassing to appear before God as lazy and unproductive. What a loss! To those who work diligently, He has promised to reward us when he returns; He’ll say to each person, “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!” (Mt 25:21)
Let’s play our roles fervently, responsibly, and obediently, knowing that we’re running out of time! We may be called to account sooner than we think.