What's that? You were unaware of it's being dismembered? Well, then you are in for a good read. Try to allow me some grace, and take what I write with a grain of salt... kosher salt (tongue in cheek), and everything will be fine.
I know of more than a few leaders in the church that are feeling an impression by the Holy Spirit to reach out to their Christian counterparts. I have felt the same pull, and have admittedly fought it a little because, well, I am a tad cynical. I don't embrace cynicism, by any means, but rather find myself with a grim outlook without even trying. I have my reasons; most of which can not be justified, so I will not even try. Lets just say that my cynicism has become the newest obstacle that our Lord is making me aware of, and it is difficult at times.
At any rate, back to the topic at hand.
There is a definite awakening of sorts happening within the church. The call is to become one with our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. Brothers and sisters in Christ who do not believe the same way you, or I do. It is all-encompassing. Baptists are being called to befriend those who believe their salvation is hanging by a thread. Methodists are being called to walk beside Charismatics who despise the thought of a method, let alone a written down method. Presbyterians are being prompted to hold spiritual hands with the
As it stands, the Body of our Messiah has one hand that depends on a creed being chanted at every service, another hand that refuses to eat pork, and an ear lobe that refuses be touched by either until they put nicer clothes on.
We are hundreds of detached body parts, claiming the same head.
The Head is calling His members to begin to realize that that the same blood runs through all of the parts.
That is the key issue in the struggle - the blood.
It is the blood of our Messiah that must bind us together. Like it or not, it already does; now it is up to us to merely recognize it, and act on it. We have no choice if we are to serve our Master as one. After all, it is His blood, so it is His call. His body, and He is calling us to act like a body that is not torn apart. Paul said this in Ephesians 4:46: One body, one spirit, one Lord, one faith, one baptism; One God and Father of all.
Our problem is becoming very clear as I look at it through my ever-cynical eyes. I believe the problem lies mostly in maturity. How mature are we? Look at the statistics of divorce, bribery, pornography, adultery, the list goes on and on - look at how we deal with those issues, and it is easy to see that Christ's body smacks of immaturity.
Your marriage getting tough? Bail out - just like any teenager would. Need that money so bad that you are wiling to cheat on your taxes? No problem - cheat; every immature player on the field is willing to do so.
Have you heard about the church down the road? They are actually meeting on Saturday! Hmmmm, what is the most immature thing a person could do to rebut such a thing? Spread gossip and rumors, like any adolescent would, of course.
We have been fed a way of life through the media that allows for grown men to act like they are seventeen years old for their entire lives. We are taught to steer clear of any form of commitment unless it is to your cell phone provider - and even that contract is never read.
We are, most of us, grown men and women, yet we behave like children. Spoiled, undisciplined children, but children none the less. Unfortunately, our own children are growing up in this environment thinking it is normal… and the cycle continues when they grow up.
If my suspicions are correct, I think that our Head is beginning to wake His body up. We are all sort of like body parts that have fallen asleep, all numb, cold and motionless. To carry the analogy further, I think that the urge to become one, at the moment, is sort of like the arm that is asleep, and when it begins to have the blood flowing through it again it feels crazy tingly sensations – at first. When it really starts to get the blood flowing, there is a certain prickly, pins and needles sort of pain that arrives (I don’t think we are there yet), then, depending on how long the appendage has been asleep, there is an aching that sets in before the warm relief of full awakening.
We are starting to wake up. Our Master’s blood is beginning to arouse our senses. We have a couple of options at this stage. First, we could refuse to allow that blood to revive us. To see a good example of how this turns out, just wrap a tight rubber band around your cat’s tail and leave it. Give it about three weeks, and when you are using tongs to pick up a dead cat tail off of your kitchen floor, go back and read this again.
The second option is to help it out. Oneness can be encouraged just like the blood flowing into an arm that has fallen asleep. All you have to do is shake it up a little – move it around! Exercise those joints, and welcome the blood back in.
Do not read too deeply into this analogy – I am not implying that we are lacking the blood of Christ, or His presence in our lives. I am only saying that we have allowed just enough of it to sustain life; cold, sleepy, isolated life. Having said that, I am also not saying that we should walk hand in hand with sin. Sin is sin, and it has no place in this equation. We must not become one with that which is in blatant opposition to the Head of this body. If you are relying on “lost books of the bible” or special glasses of any sort for your salvation, then you have bigger problems than these (more on that at a later time).
The mature thing to do of course is to deal with the discomfort that is so amplified at the start, and keep pressing through. We really are one, like it or not. A child that is afraid of needles would just as soon die of Small Pox then to get the necessary shot to protect him from the disease. An adult knows that he must suffer a short-lived pain in order to be healthy. Our short lived pain is nothing more than treating each other like members of the same body, just like Paul told us to. And if you think about it, the pain is nothing more than our own immaturity having His light shone one it. It will only hurt for a moment, I’m sure. But like I was saying, sometimes that is what it takes in order to be healed…