EarthBasic. Take care. Bless many.
Read /1 Corinthians 1 & 12 - 13/
This week I celebrated my 32nd birthday. I arose from my bed with gratitude (an intention I had set the night before) and prayed that God would give me eyes to see as He does, all the people and things I would encounter. I prayed He’d make me sharp to perceive all the ways in which He alights the ordinary moments to illuminate the wonder of the Gospel-the Good News about what Jesus has done. And of all the things He drew my eye to, it was His grace to consider the human body that seemed to take hold of my attention.
The mass of bone, muscle, tissue, water and blood, that forms our human body is a wonder of a world in and of itself. We walk around in our bodies every day and still we must be instructed, from birth, in the simple practices of caring for them and in the knowledge of how and why they work. It is the common and natural mystery of the human body that God uses to help open our eyes to the extraordinary and spiritual mystery that is the Church.
The Church is called the Body of Christ. It, like the body, is made up of many parts. Together, all these parts form a living organism. The most basic unit of any of these parts is the cell. The most basic unit of the Body of Christ is the soul who relies on Jesus Christ for its salvation. From the single cell emerges the entire body. (Beginnings of a Human Cell). From Jesus Christ rises the entire Body, born again by the Holy Spirit, by grace through faith. (1 Corinthians 12:13, Colossians 1:18, John 3:1 - 21, and Ephesians 2:8-9).
The parts that form the body are not there by election. No. Instead, they take their place in the whole on account of the perfect wisdom of the God who knit them together in the womb. (Psalm 139:13-14). And as it is in the natural, so it is in the spirit. The parts of Christ’s body are drawn together by the initiative of the Father and made one through the Son. (John 1: 12 - 13, John 6:44 and 2 Corinthians 5:19).
1. What have you found challenging about being a part of a whole you did not make, nor purpose?
2. How might the challenges you noted above, be a means to accomplish God's beautiful work in your life and the world?
No two parts are alike. Instead, each part has a specific role within the whole. And each part is important, working towards the common goal-the overall health of the living being to which it belongs.
Consider the following 2 testimonies of the human body in agreement with this week’s scripture as you reflect:
When all is going well, the body takes in just enough food to maintain itself, grow, and replace worn cells. But when the supply diminishes, as when a person mowing the lawn delays supper in order to utilize the summer light, a signal sounds in the body’s fat cells. To the liver short of glycogen and the blood short on glucose, the fat cells freely yield their oily treasure. By being the body’s storehouse, the fat cells free other cells to do their job more efficiently...I like to think of fat cells as the banker cells of the body. In times of plenty they bulge with excess, as the body deposits more than it withdraws. In times of want they channel their chemical wealth back into the bloodstream. (Brand and Yancey, 1980, p.73).
A lipoma is a low-grade, benign tumor. It derives from a single fat cell, skilled in its lazy role of storing fat, that rebels against the leadership of the body and refuses to give up its reserves. It accepts deposits but ignores withdrawal slips. As that cell multiplies, daughter cells follow its lead and a tumor grows like a fungus, filling in crevices, pressing against muscles and organs. Occasionally a lipoma crowds a vital organ like the eye, pushing it out of alignment or pinching a sensitive nerve, and surgery is required. (Brand and Yancey, 1980, p.73).
1. What is a healthy Body or Church like? Describe it. From where does the Body or Church derive its health?
2. What is an unhealthy Body or Church like? Describe it. What are some of the causes of illness in the Body or Church?
3. What work does a healthy Church complete on the earth?
Beloved, you are a member of The Body of Jesus Christ by His perfect will. You belong! You have been chosen to be one with Him and with all those who rely on Him for vitality. (1 Corinthians 1:2). You have been plucked out of the loneliness of the world to join a family, whose Head is God. (1 Colossians 1:18). You have been called to become like Him in the company of others and with the help of others. You are called to use His vitality to serve others and with His humility receive the ministry of His kindness through others. (Ephesians 2:19, Proverbs 27:17, 1 Corinthians 12:7 and Hebrews 10:25).
I pray that God has met you in this week's study and reflection on the witness of the human body of the beauty of the Gospel. And that you have had a revelation of the miracle that is the Church and of your part in Its wonderful unity.
Your fellow part in Christ,
As Be-Held Women we believe that true self-care is accomplished in a lifestyle of intimacy with Jesus Christ. We take care by drawing near to God: seeking and living the truth of God’s Word, by the power of His Spirit dwelling within us, confident that in living the truth by Holy Spirit reliance we will be transformed into women who so clearly bear the image of Jesus Christ in spirit, soul and body that we will come to bless many. Dear Be-Held Woman, seeking, living and being transformed by the truth, we offer you this Bible study guide to support you in your endeavors! Apply it to this week's Scripture readings.
Carolyn Sinclair McCalla is a daughter of God, with a passion for encouraging women to embrace the fullness of God's love for them in Jesus Christ. She leads the Be-Held Community: a group of women seeking, living and being transformed by the truth of God’s Word together.