Spiritual Director · June 15, 2017

Devote #41

So, let me ask you a question… What’s your most favorite part of your body? Go ahead… think about it? What’s your most favorite part of your body? I’m pretty sure as you’re doing an inventory of yourself, you’re also thinking of those parts of your body that don’t make the top 5 list… that ring around the middle… sagging skin… droopy muscles… gnarly toes… protruding proboscis! There, I listed my top 5 with no problem!

But what about your favorite parts? That welcoming smile… strong hand grip to shake someone’s hand… loving arms to wrap around someone… beautiful feet that bring good news… ears that hear the sound of the world around you… eyes that see the colors of creation. What’s your favorite part?

Truth is, all those parts, the favorite and the not so favorite, make up the whole of you. You just can’t eliminate the parts you don’t like. You need them – at least to some extent.

The same is true for the body of Christ – the church. We need each other. We need the parts of the body that are important and noticeable as well as those parts that are more behind the scenes and many times unnoticeable.

Even as I write that, I think about the many things that happen at a church that most people don’t ever even think about. For example, I think about those people who set up communion for us. I’m not sure what most people think in the congregation. I don’t know if they just think the bread and the wine just show up on the altar because God put it there since it’s a communion Sunday, or if they know there are some dear blood bought saints that prepare the meal for us all.

Here’s the Word that prompted that thinking…
“Together you are the body of Christ.” 1 Corinthians 12:27 CEV

I’ve often posed the question as to what I would be labeled if I was missing my left arm. In a politically correct world, I would be labeled “handicapped,” “disabled.” I wonder what we’d call a church that was missing an arm, or a leg, or an eye, or a mouth? Would we still call it handicapped? Or maybe the better question is: Have we noticed that the church is missing a few parts that are needed to really be the body? And have you ever thought that you are that part?

Here’s my word of encouragement for you today: It seems to me that the church – the body of Christ – is missing more body parts all the time. Some parts have just fallen off… some have been amputated. I don’t know what part of the body you are, but I want you to know that what you offer to the body of Christ is of utmost importance. We need you – the body of Christ needs you!

By the power of Your love and the gifting of Your Spirit, help us work together for the Your Bride, the church. In Jesus name I ask this, Amen.

Rev. Dr. MM Marxhausen

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Mark was Spiritual Director for VdC from 2016 to 2019. He's written many of the devotions, especially the Devote and Affirm series, found on this website.