This one line homily has been brought to you by the same generation that preached “Cleanliness is next to godliness” until they believed it really was in the Bible. It’s not. If you find anything even close to it, keep it to yourself. If it’s there, I am doomed. Everything does have a place and if this were an organized, perfect world according to Emily Post, the Tidy god would rule.
My mother didn’t like it either. But she played along once in a while, with an attitude. The Saturday Evening Post stack dating back to her first subscription looked okay over there by her chair so that must be a good place. Mom had every intention of reading an article she had spotted once upon a time but didn’t take the time to read it at the time. Eventually the stack grew high enough to set a glass of iced tea on it, doubling the Post’s collective value.
The apostle Paul used the human body to teach a lesson on jealousy. I want to use it to teach value. The body of Christ is us, including all denominational names, all nations, all races (p.s. DNA study shows there is one race, human, with physical characteristic and pigment variations). Anyone who is born again, believes in, relies on, trusts in, and acknowledges in his heart that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God, attempts to follow his precepts and teachings, obeys the Holy Spirit’s instruction, is part of us, the whole, the functioning body. There’s a place for everyone and the body functions well when everybody is in his/her assigned and natural place, being of value to the Kingdom of God, the Father.
The mouth. Televangelists. Radio ministries. Preachers. Teachers. Bloggers!!!! Music. Keep it clean and true. There are those recording your every word looking to Imus you and defame Christianity, Inc.
The eyes. They’re supposed to see a need and notify the hands and feet, not focus 24/7 on sinful clothes, pornography, MTV, and the list can go and go and go.
The blood. The messenger that gives life and strength to each cell and molecule, through the prayer warriors, those who keep the main thing the main thing.
The heart. It maintains the constant drumbeat of faith, caring, loving, and empathy. It pumps the lifeblood throughout the body and the world.
The brain. Study, research, teaching, reaching for more and transmitting all it knows to be true throughout the nerve networks, commanding action through knowledge.
Muscles are perseverance, strength, and endurance. Nerves allow touching and feeling.
And feet. How beautiful the feet that carry the Gospel to those who have not heard, those who thirst for God.
Sadly, most of the body of Christ is currently the sitting butt.
What else do we know about the human body that wasn’t known to Paul? Molecules, cells, DNA, chromosomes, electrical impulses, immune systems, and more. We’re all part of a massive complex intended to reach and teach the lost. The myriad intricate components need to work together to achieve motion and results. A house, and in this case, a body, divided against itself cannot succeed, cannot maintain good health.
Don’t feel bad if you’re a cell in the kidney, designed to spot waste and purge the system. Keep on keeping on. Try not to feel inferior if you are part of the pancreas or spleen or appendix whose functions aren’t clear but they were put there for a reason. You’ll find out later. Keep on keeping on. Having fun as the clean-up crew in the liver, changing wrong to right? It’s a disgusting job, but keep on keeping on. The intestines sort the nourishment from the waste.
We’ll stop here. You get it or you don’t.
What happens when we gossip, backbite, quarrel, name call, criticize and finger point? There’s a wound. I.N.F.E.C.T.I.O.N. Healing that wound may require a bandaid in the form of apologies, antibiotics in the form of Holy Ghost discipline, surgery, casts, an MRI from which no one can hide from blame. How about if we publicly tear down a publicly known body member? (OMG, I’m meddlin’!!) Think about it. Paul tells us to honor the authority of even the unsaved and cruel leaders and bosses, that God placed them where they are for His reasons and purposes. Who do we think we are, anyway? (ouch) What does the world think of Christianity, Inc. when we are loudly dysfunctional?
We, as body parts, cells, and molecules are useful according to our talents and wherever the Master has a need. You can put in for a transfer. You may get one, you may not. It’s best to be content with whatever assignment you’ve been given, wherever you are.