Monday, March 7, 2016

Day 22 of Lent: We are Part of the Body of Christ

Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.  I Corinthians 12: 27

Today, our image of the body of Christ embraces the entire planet with all of its human communities.  To confine the body of Christ just to the Christian church would be to perpetuate an unhelpful dualism of sacred and spiritual, spirit and world, human and nature, Christian and non-Christian.  While we may still identify Paul's message to Christian congregations as a whole, we recognize that our vocations call us to pursue healing of the earth as well as of humankind.  The church as the body of Christ exists to join seamlessly the inner journey of contemplation and the outer journey of action in its vocation as God's partner in bringing healing and wholeness to all creation.

In these times we must imagine the body of Christ in terms of a holistic vision of the divine-human community in which there is a continuum between body, mind, and spirit.  Each part of the human body has a unique gift and function that arises from and contributes to its relationships with all the other parts of the body.  Seen from a wider perspective, we can imagine the mind of Christ permeating each and every cell and soul, and consecrating each moment of life within that intricately connected whole that joins humankind and the planet.

Our personal vocation is to support the well being of the planetary body of Christ as well as the church and the human community.  Paul describes the creation as waiting expectantly for the fulfillment of spiritual vocation.  How would you live if you recognized that your well being is intimately connected with the well being of the complex and fragile ecology of life?  God calls us to be in ministry to others throughout our world, both in the Christian community and in all places regardless of race, creed, or religion.

To Ponder:
I belong to the planetary body of Christ.
My calling is to be God's partner in healing the world.
I honor God's spirit in nonhumans as well as the human community.
My calling is to be God's partner in healing my part of the world.

Living Spirit, we rejoice in the world you are creating.  We rejoice in our bodies and in the body of Christ, which nurtures our lives in their entirety.  Live through us so that we may embrace the gifts of the whole earth and the congregation of which we are a part.  Awaken us to our gifts for the whole as we receive the gifts of each part.  In Christ's name.  Amen.

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