“Ablaze with a Passion for the Church”
Submitted by Heath Davis
Key text: Ephesians 5:25-27
The body of Jesus walks with a limp. He stumbled on the road to Golgotha beaten and broken by the hands of men. Not much has changed in 2000 years. Today the Body of Christ, the Church, still walks with a dehibilitating gate. His Body still struggles and staggers weak and broken in the eyes of men.
Weak bodies are always an easy target of criticism. Any organism full of deformities and imperfections is assumed to be less than what we desire. I’m not sure about you, but I’ve pointed at Jesus’ Body and scorned His handicaps. I’m disgusted at His deformities. I loathe His limp. Until I look in the mirror and am reminded that I am the reason Christ still walks with a limp. And, so are you.
One of the verses of Scripture that has provoked me deeply is Paul’s mysterious words in Colossians 1:24. He writes, “Now I rejoice in what was suffered for you and I fill up in my flesh what is lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions for the sake of His body, which is the Church.”
Instead of pointing a finger and poking fun at the feeble and frail body of Jesus, Paul realizes that his own life is not divorced from the life of the Body. He concludes that his own blood, sweat, and tears on behalf of the Body are somehow helping to rehabilitate this body that limps along. Instead of criticizing the Church, Paul is willing to receive blows on her behalf, realizing that the weight of his own suffering is in some mysterious way being used by God to strengthen Jesus Body and to present it to God, whole and without blemish.
Yes, His Body still limps along. It IS frail, it IS feeble. But, let us never forget whose body this is. This is Jesus Christ’s body. We are His ears, eyes, hands and lips and his feet that limp along. We may not have a perfect figure, but we are His own. We are the body of Christ!
Let’s be like Paul. A man able to respond to a church still lacking, by believing that IF I give my all, Jesus will use my life towards the greater good of His Body. Today I am hoping that just as Jesus gave His Body for my life, that I would be able to give my life for His Body.
May you embrace His limp.