So why do you think Paul uses “body” as a metaphor for the church? There are several reasons I’m sure but I suspect one of the biggest ones is that “body” is something that is common to all of us. In today’s Epistle lesson, 1 Corinthians 12:12-31, Paul makes good use of the notion of the church as body of Christ to help all of us remember that there are no superfluous members in that body.
Many of us seem to be convinced that we could just fade out of church life without effect and nothing could be farther from the truth. Paul is at great pains to help us, through some witty anthropomorphism, to see that in the same way that there are no extra and unneeded limbs and organs in the body it is also so in the church. I understand how some of us feel that we take more from the church than we give but I put it to you that in this case, we are not competent to make that judgement. I have frequently found, in retrospect, that the times I felt most useless was when I had the greatest impact. If nothing else, tremendous community building happens when we allow others to minister to us in our hour(s) of need. The body of Christ, the local community of believers, is not a place where everyone is constantly giving, serving, doing, and any other -ing you can think of; there are times when we live out Christ by receiving. No one can receive when they are not there to receive.
It appears that I may have strayed somewhat from where the sermons went but I’m not surprised, there is far more to this “body” business than any fifteen or sixteen minute sermon can hold. I hope you enjoy the sermon(s) even with the difference. If nothing else, there is a nifty baseball anecdote or two in the sermons 🙂
Knox Presbyterian We are one body
St. Mark’s Presbyterian We are one body