"If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole were hearing, where would the sense of smell be? But now God has placed the members, each one of them, in the body, just as He desired. If they were all one member, where would the body be? But now there are many members, but one body." (1 Corinthians 12:17-20)Paul returns to the central theme of this second part of the chapter: The Body is not one member but many. When we deny the many members that we were created to be then we deny the body. Where there is only one member, then the Body is absent. The Body was designed by Christ to be composed of many differing members, each contributing to the growth and health of the Body.
Unfortunately, in many of our churches today, there is room for only one, or in some cases, a few, members to participate in Body life. The clergy/laity model has relegated the work of the Body to the professional religious class; minimizing the role of the rest of the Body. Also, our pulpit centered services where the congregants come to be taught while the pastor fulfills the job of teaching further leads us astray from the true meaning of the Body.
It is my personal belief that we must rethink church. We must return to that form of community that Paul taught us, a Body in which everyone has a role, a gifting, and a contribution to perform. Only then will we truly experience the Body in its fullness and learn what it means to corporately become the bride of Christ.
More to come... David Robison