Good morning! I have so much to say about an awesome weekend, but for now I will leave you with my brief meditation from this morning. The pictures will follow!
1 Corinthians 12:12-27
We are the Body of Christ.
There is never really much that I can say on the Sunday following Homeless Awareness Weekend. After our youth and chaperones spent over 36 hours sleeping in cardboard boxes, listening to speakers, worshipping together, preparing food to be distributed, serving in soup kitchens, raising money, collecting food and clothing and panhandling on the streets, words just seem hopelessly inadequate.
I have been thinking a lot about the metaphor of the Body of Christ this week and how many layers it actually has. I have preached on this text before and used it as a call for unity. Those sermons always seem to focus on reminding individuals, communities and (yes, even) churches that it is okay to be different, diverse and not always able to come to an agreement. Those sermons always point out that there is a function for everyone in the Body of Christ; that it is our differences that allow us to function as one body.
But there is more to it than that.
The double-edged sword of believing that the Body of Christ is the key to diverse unity is that so often we think about our role – our function – in the Body of Christ as one that we solely have.
But we are human. And there are times when we simply do not feel well, there are times when our energy is low and there are times when our own bodies inhibit us from doing things.
And that is precisely why the Body has so many parts.
So science was never really my strong-suit, but I do remember by college bio professor explaining that the systems in our bodies are interconnected; and when one system starts to break down oftentimes our other systems work harder to keep our bodies healthy. It is why we sweat when we are hot, it is why we spike fevers when we have infections and it is why we sleep when we are sick. One body has many pieces so that no one piece has to do it all.
And that is how the Body of Christ works.
We are imperfect human beings. Human beings, by their – by our – nature, cannot do it all. We need the support of the Body of Christ. We need each other.
And God has given us each other. And God creates some semblance of order out of the chaos that is humanity. And that is the beauty and the grace in this Body.
Here is what I believe to be true: We are called to both (1) be the Body of Christ and (2) receive support from the Body of Christ.
And that is why Homeless Awareness Weekend is such a beautiful thing. Not only do we serve together, but we cry together and we wrestle with difficult issues together and we allow ourselves to be vulnerable together. We rely on the support of the Body of Christ this weekend just as much as we are active participants in it. It is no longer an “us serving them” it is a “we serving together”.
We – those who slept at Mason Field this weekend. We – those who donated money, food and clothing this weekend. We – those we talked to and waved to while panhandling on the streets. We – those who spoke and shared their stories this weekend. We – those who had no choice but to sleep outside this weekend. We – those who utilized the services at the soup kitchens we served at this weekend. We – those who were and continue to be challenged by the issues surrounding poverty and homelessness.
We are the Body of Christ – all of us.
And we are united.
Thanks be to God!