When we talk about the “body” of Christ, we are referring to the group of people who form the church. We often speak of the ways that we serve the body of Christ through our unique spiritual gifts.
However, as I walk with our community through tragic loss of a wife and mother, I can’t help but think of the body of Christ as something more than functional.
We are all connected and united as a body. In 2 Corinthians Paul talks about how the community of believers doesn’t just work together, we feel together.
“For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too…Our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will share in our comfort.” (1:5,7)
“Now if anyone has caused pain, he has caused it not to me, but in some measure – not to put it too severely—to all of you.” (2:5)
“For this slight momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” (4:17-18)
Perhaps I’ve hardly been this close to such a tragic end of a life before, but this moment has revealed in my heart the truth that the body of Christ doesn’t just work together, it is truly a body that feels together. When we lose a brother or sister in Christ our body is wounded. Though it will eventually heal and adapt to the wound, it will never be the same as it was.