Embodying Christ as Community

Embodying Christ as Community

This Sunday many churches from across our nationwide community of faith will be featuring International Witness during their worship service. As part of MC Canada, we help build the church through Witness relationships in 14 different countries. These relationships focus on supporting the emergence of new faith communities, foster the vitality of existing faith groups, and equip leadership for the church. More information including worship resources, videos, stories, and information about the Witness projects we support can be found HERE

When I think about the connections we share with others as a faith community I find myself drawn to the biblical image of being the body of Christ. In his first letter to the Corinthians Paul writes,

For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and we were all made to drink of one Spirit. Indeed, the body does not consist of one member but of many. (I Cor. 12:12-14)

This is such a powerful image of what it means to be the church, whether around the world or in our local congregations. It affirms the unique characteristics and calling of each individual, congregation, country, and culture. Each brings unique gifts that together add richness to the whole. In the business world research shows that boards and leadership groups with greater diversity around the table tend to outperform those with more uniform representation. By bringing a range of perspectives to the discussion these groups have a greater range of experiences and knowledge to draw on as they make decisions and set goals and direction.

The image of being a body together also affirms a sense of unity and togetherness that is found through our calling in Christ. It highlights the sense of cooperation, of working together as a team, of valuing the different pieces that together make up the whole. As Paul says later in the Corinthians passage, “The eye can’t say to the hand, ‘I don’t need you.’” Indeed “If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it; if one part gets the glory, all the parts celebrate with it”. All parts are put together as God intended. Most importantly, it is Christ who is the head, valuing each part of the whole, holding us together and guiding us as we seek to embody Christ’s presence as a community called together in Christ.

As we celebrate the global witness of the church in today’s world, may we as individuals, congregations, and the global church live into our calling as Christ’s body, alive and at work in the world!