The Body of Christ
This week begins a new ministry season at Emmanuel, and there’s a lot happening! Awana is taking registrations and Sunday School resumes today. Youth Group kicks back into gear meeting at the church tonight for 7-12 graders. The various women’s Bible Study groups are meeting again, there are monthly men’s breakfasts and a new football league for guys to play in on Saturday mornings. Small Groups that’ve taken a break during the summer are meeting again too. There’s a lot happening… but why? Why do all these things? Everyone’s busy enough, why should the church add to the busyness?
Because we are the “Body of Christ,” and we have a great mission to carry out. One of the clearest descriptions of what the church is meant to be is found in 1 Corinthians 12:12-31. Paul tells the Christians they are the body of Christ. They are one body with many members and he goes on, “If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together. Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.” (1 Corinthians 12:26-27) We are united to one another through our common faith in Christ and we’ve all been given one mission: “Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.” (2 Corinthians 5:20)
In the midst of our unity, the Body of Christ has many members. An eye, a hand, and a brain are all important for someone to hit a baseball. Asking which is more important is completely missing the point. Each is a member of the body and is necessary for accomplishing the task. In the same way, every member of the church is important to accomplish the mission God has given – to proclaim the good news of salvation to those who are perishing in their sin, and to invite them to be reconciled to God through faith in Jesus Christ.
With so much happening in the church right now, I want to encourage you to consider where you belong. If you are a Christian, then you are a member of the “capital C Church,” but I also want to encourage actual membership at EBC and invite you to get involved. A hand is only helpful when it’s connected to the body. A dismembered hand is still a hand, but it’s lifeless and cannot accomplish what it’s meant to, because it’s severed from the body and isn’t complemented by other members. If you’re not a member, and if you’re not connected at EBC outside of Sunday mornings, consider this your invitation.
We are really excited about what God has in store for Emmanuel and our community this year. We are the Body of Christ – so let’s all live out the common mission He has given us. There’s a lot of ministry launching this week because we are committed to proclaiming the good news of Jesus Christ to one another, to our children, and to our community. Seek the Lord to consider what you’re good at, what you’re passionate about, and how you can use your gifts and passions to build up the church for the sake of Christ’s reconciling work in our world.