The t-shirt that I wore to the gym this morning drew a lot of attention. Imprinted on the shirt was the phrase: “Strength Training: Mind, Body, and Spirit.” In small print below this heading was a portion of Ephesians 4:16, which reads: “The whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.” Whenever I wear this shirt, it presents me with an opportunity to explain the meaning of this verse.
The Apostle Paul was writing in this passage about the need for unity within the body of Christ. We all have different roles to play, just as the body is made up of many parts. Yet, it is crucial to the wellbeing of the whole body that every member is functioning at their best in whatever role they have been assigned. Just as the human body suffers when any member is in pain or is inoperable, the spiritual body (the church) is also affected adversely when any of its members are hurting or absent from the body. There is inter-dependence within the faith fellowship that results in a sense of loss when any part of the body is missing.
For example, I have a cut on one of my thumbs that has proven to be a bit of a nuisance. The tiny cut is right at the joint, so every time I bend my thumb it hurts. While it is not a serious injury, it does affect the way that I use my hand. In addition, a bandage is required to keep it from bleeding, which also hinders me from flexing the thumb. My whole body is impacted by the inconvenience of this injured appendage.
This might not be a great analogy, but it does reflect the message Paul is presenting in this passage. As members of the body of Christ, we need one another! It is important to our spiritual growth and health that we are faithful in our attendance and participation in the Bible study and worship opportunities afforded to us by the church. When we miss out on these blessings, we suffer personally and the church body suffers collectively. I hope to see you here for Sunday School and our Worship Service next Sunday morning!
Serving in love,