My name is Ralph Amsden and sometimes I write things. These are those things.

Becoming a New Body Part

I read 1st Corinthians 12 this morning, an wondered if Paul and Sosthenes would laugh at how their “the church as a body” metaphor is interpreted today. Most would liken an individual church’s pastoral staff to some of the body’s more vital organs, but would a heathy heart ask the brain for permission to replace functioning lungs over creative differences or contractual disputes? Probably not, but we still see leading pastors, worship pastors and other staff members jump (or get dumped) from body to body. The modern church seems to sometimes subscribe to the Biblical principal of the “body” as if they are an aging Hollywood actress- the staff is cosmetic, and so tit jobs, facelifts and tummy tucks are justified in the name of relevance.

After I finished being all judgy and cynical about the state of the modern mega-church, I had a constructive meditation on what it means to be a part of the body, and the dangers of adopting the attitude toward others that verse 21 warns about (“I have no need of you”). I’m guilty of that. At church last week our pastor made it clear that we’re expected to set down roots, be eclectic, and embrace diversity. The goal is to surround yourself with a rich tapestry of humanity, and celebrate God’s creation. The problem is, I don’t even surround myself with a bland tapestry of humanity. I’ve been fairly individualistic for the better part of a decade. Sunday’s message and this morning’s reading might be a little bit of a wake up call. In order to have a true value and function as part of the body, you have to act as part of the body. I’ve been an appendix for an extended season, and the only thing that body part is good for is a temporary flareup, leading to extraction. Hopefully I can find a new function.

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