April 14, 2014

When Is the Church not the Body of Christ?

We are all familiar with Paul's letter, First Corinthians, which tells us that "You (you plural) are the body of Christ." And sometimes the Church does act like the Body of Christ. But like Israel went astray, chasing after false gods, so can the Church. The Church is meant to be active in the world, helping reconcile its people to God. But all to often, it becomes self-preoccupied and not only forgets its mission, but forgets whose mission it is anyway. It's not our mission but God's. The Church is only a means God can use to offer people salvation--healing and wholeness.

Too often, the Church gets caught up in its own organization and committees. When that happens, the Church takes its eyes off God and thus opens itself up for temptation to follow something or someone else, whether it is a self-proclaimed guru who promises success or the shiny god of a particular political ideology.

In our conference appointments are finished. And there is nothing that speaks to the human character of the Church like this process of sending pastors, despite the fact that Cabinets often fret and stew over them. Sometimes bishops and Cabinets have to make painful decisions that they know will hurt the pastor and/or the pastor's family--for the "good" of the Church.

As we approach Holy Week, let's remember what the Church is called to be and what we as individual Christians are called to do. Let us, at least for this week, keep our eyes on Jesus.

Grace, Kathy

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