G'ampa C's Blog

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Musings on the Body of Christ

Ever wonder how we can fully accept the Spirit of Christ while keeping his Body at arm's length?

Ever wonder why so much of the bible deals with the way we treat others instead of our jobs?

Recently, I had occasion to hear a confession from a brother, then confess a fault of mine to that brother, and found my sin easier to deal with almost immediately. There is something about that confession which speaks of Body life and health, yet we do so little of it in the CoC (in my experience). I wonder what it would be like to be close enough to many brothers and sisters to confess without fear. In the past, one of my children wanted to confess everything to me, and I declined because of the pain. If you read this, my dear child, I was wrong, and I apologize. I should have been willing to hear it all, and help bear your burden. Confession is a way of allowing the cleansing springs of God to wash over us.

Jesus went about on this earth loving the sick, healthy, poor, rich, weak, strong, sinner, saints, everyone. The people he loved that are most noticed by us are the poor, sick and weak, and sinners. Is that because I relate to the others, or just because they are the more loveable group? With whom do I tend to identify? Hmmm.

If Jesus thought we could make the Christian life work by ourselves, why do we have church? And... if we believe that church is part of his plan, why do we sometimes act more like a social club and often nothing at all like the church in the New Testament? Do we gather to hear a great lesson, study the bible, have some great singing? We could, in today's environment, do those all by ourselves...

What is the proper response of the Body of Christ to the lost? Is it love and acceptance, or indifference? Hopefully we can all say "love and acceptance". Now, what about those way past lost? Do we bear that same attitude toward the militant Muslims who choose to be terrorists? If I had been born in another country, to another religion, I could have been a terrorist myself, but for God's sparing of my soul in His grace. Do our churches pray enough that our enemies would come to live under the grace of Jesus? Wouldn't that end the war(s)? It is in the Body that we come to see that we can be so very different yet be one, once enemies now brothers, the lion and the lamb content to rest together without fear and without that pesky "predator and prey" thing. I wonder what Christ's "dream church" would look like, after all....

Ever wonder how we can accept the Spirit of Christ while keeping his Body at arm's length?

Monday, August 07, 2006

The Lord's Supper Concluded: An Invitation

After a six week hiatus, I will finally try to complete this little series.

I have no method of judging how many people read this blog, nor, for the most part, what they think. To those of you who have read it or part of it, I offer the following invitation:

Read all of the posts on the Lord's Supper at one sitting, and pray for the Lord to take you in his hands while you do it. Go back and read the texts in John and Luke and I Corinthians. Read Hebrews 7, 8, 9 and 10. Then, the next time you go to the table of the Lord, make a conscious effort to turn it into a sharing event. Look around you, no matter what the setting is, and try to visualize the people around you as Jesus sees them:
Part of His Body, bone of His bone and flesh of his flesh, worth going to the cross, worth death.

If you pass the bread and cup from person to person as most groups do, think of the emblems as if they are the antidote to certain death, the medicine of eternity. When it is passed to you, touch the wrist or arm of the person passing it until he or she looks at you. Tell them it is the body/ blood of Jesus, which makes us whole. Pass it in the same fashion, with a statement and eye contact. Trust the Spirit to help you if this is uncomfortable for you. Communicate with your voice, your touch, your eyes. THIS IS THE BODY OF OUR LORD! WHAT A BLESSING TO SHARE IT!!
If you can't bring yourself to share in this way, gather a small group of your closer friends and try it. If you are like me, you will be surprised and amazed at what God does.

Jesus has said that he stands at the door (of our hearts) and knocks. If you are a Christian, you have opened that door to him, and he wants to share the communion meal with you. We all know this is true. Sometimes, I think we just don't realize that his Body is also knocking. Can we really, truly be intimate with the Spirit of Jesus while holding his body at arm's length? Welcome the body to your communion feast, and watch what the Lord does.