These days we are all fairly aware of how we should take care of our bodies (even if we chose to ignore that guidance).
We know it is good to be active. We know just 10,000 steps a day is enough to keep you fit. We know crosswords, puzzles, and mind games, are good to keep our mental acuity. We know the basics of how to eat well, that fresh food is good, that we need to expend what we take in – feeding yourself rich foods that your body isn’t going to use leads to obesity.
We know that smoke pollutes – whether the stuff we out in our bodies ourselves or the pollution from the world around us.
We know how easily a small injury or illness can make us feel bad. We know our attitude can affect us not just emotionally but physically – “mind over matter” is a scientifically supported truth.
“For as the body is one and has many parts, and all the many parts of that one body are one body, so also is Christ.” 1 Cor 1:12
“But God has composed the body, having given more abundant honor to that part which lacks it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that the parts should have the same care for one another. If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, and if one part is honored, all the parts rejoice with it.” 1 Cor 1: 24-26
Something else we all know. Familiar Scriptures. But take a moment to meditate on them afresh. Fully appreciate the analogy that God is using. Let’s go back over what we’ve just said about our physical bodies and substitute the Body of Christ.
The “Body” needs to be active. That is how the Body is designed to be. Just a relatively small amount of regular activity will be hugely beneficial.
To keep the Body “mentally” active we need to be reading Scripture, praying, meditating, taking time to dream dreams and seek visions, to stay alert, prepared, sharp.
The Body needs fresh food – daily! Both as individual members of the Body and as church we need Scripture, we need teaching, we need rhema words for today instead of trying to still feed off something said over us or our church 20 years ago.
The Body can be polluted by what it feeds itself so again, individually and corporately, we need to guard what we put in to ourselves. We need to remember we are in a fallen world and the Body can be polluted just by the environment it is in. Something else to guard against and take action against.
Just as even a stubbed toe, or a runny nose can bring great discomfort, or feeling low can affect our entire day and condition all our reactions and choices, so it is with the Body. Remember, “If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it”.
Every member of the Body who is physically or mentally not well, everyone battling spiritual exhaustion or doubt… that affects the whole Body. As a church when we gather on Sunday – or in our small groups, or other gatherings – our overall “health” is affected by those things. We need to take care of each other – physically, emotionally, spiritually – with the same care as we know we should show our physical bodies! Be concerned about the “health” of your fellow members. Pray for your church. Pray for each other. Value each other for we all have a place in the Body and not one of us is without value.
The good news – because with God there is always good news – is that just as one member can affect the whole Body in an unhealthy way, so can we affect one other for good! “If one part is honored, all the parts rejoice with it.” That is why testimonies are so powerful. When we hear how God is working in someone’s life it can lift us, bless us. One person seeking God with a fresh heart, new determination, starting to read Scripture daily for the first time, establishing a quiet time, stepping out in using the gifts of the Holy Spirit… any of those things can affect the whole Body.
When we gather on a Sunday and begin to worship, have you ever had one of those times when it seems to catch alight? Maybe the worship leader is moving in some fresh blessing that day, maybe someone sings in tongues for the first time, maybe several people turned up that day thankful for how God has answered prayer that week and so have a heart full of praise…, anything, any small spark can light the fire of praise and adoration. Suddenly the whole mood changes, the presence of God becomes tangible, something unlocks within us…
We all play a part. Just one of us, any one of us, can bring that change.
One member of the Body. Any member of the Body. Every member.
“God has established the parts, every one of them, in the body as it has pleased Him.” 1 Cor 1:18
Don’t overlook the Biblical instruction to prayer for one another. Don’t think you don’t matter. Don’t think going to visit that church member who isn’t well doesn’t count in the Kingdom, or that giving someone a lift to church isn’t really service or that big a deal.
Let’s make a fresh commitment to take care of our Body.