2. Jun, 2018

Ros's June message

While I’ve been waiting for my operation, it’s not surprising that I’ve been thinking about the body.  My breathing problems have meant that I can only work in short bursts followed by a rest.  You can imagine that this has been very frustrating and I’ve had to train myself to this new way of working.  I’ve had to find things that help me to do this – like my return to cross stitch.  But it has also meant that I’ve had to give myself permission to become more contemplative and spend more time in prayer and Biblical meditation, which is never a bad thing.

I’ve recently been thinking about us as the Body of Christ, made up of many different parts.  Not all the same and each unique with our own unique gifts and personality

The way God designed our bodies is a model for understanding our lives together as a church: every part dependent on every other part, the parts we mention and the parts we don’t, the parts we see and the parts we don’t. If one part hurts, every other part is involved in the hurt, and in the healing. If one part flourishes, every other part enters into the exuberance.  (1 Corinthians 12:25-26  The Message)

At the moment we are going through a tough time, and have been doing so for over a year.  So many of us are hurting in different ways, whether through health issues, bereavement, family situations, employment problems or for other reasons.  Often it’s been easier to list the ones who are well rather than those who are in need of prayer and support.  But throughout this difficult time we’ve continued to function as a body.  We may have been limping badly and we may have had to adapt to new ways of being church but throughout we have continued to support and encourage each other.  It may not have been what we’ve wanted and it may have taken us time to get used to the situation, but we are moving on together with each other and with God – just as we covenanted to do so at the start of the year.

All of this is in line with what Jesus said about coming for the needy ones as the healthy do not need this help.  All of these difficulties mean that we have no choice but to be more reliant on God.  We do not have the strength to accomplish his purposes on our own. We’ve just celebrated Pentecost with its reminder of our need for the Holy Spirit in our lives and in the church.  We’re not in this on our own – we have each other and we have God.

We, together, are the body of Christ in this bit of the UK today.  Since Christ is the head of the body , we are to be the body that he shapes and forms.  Doing the things he directs us to do.  I wonder if part of our going through so many difficulties together is in order to train us/shape us into a church for the hurting and vulnerable.  A safe haven for those who are needy.  A place where they can encounter God in a new and healing way.   I know some of you will be thinking but that’s always been what the Church is meant to be.  We know that but sometimes the ‘church’ acts more like an exclusive club for the benefit of the members & those who are like us!  We must listen for the voice of God and watch to see what he is doing in us and with us.  Not forgetting the reminder that Brian gave us that it has to be in God’s time

You are Christ’s body—that’s who you are! You must never forget this.  (1 Corinthians 12:27  The Message)