Torn Loved Ligament

The Daily Selectionary

Monday, January 17, 2011

Today’s Readings:

Daily Office Readings: (AM) Psalm 25;(PM) Psalm 9, 15
Isa. 44:6-8,21-23; Eph. 4:1-16; Mark 3:7-19a

Eucharistic ReadingsHeb. 5:1-10; Psalm 110; Mark 2:18–22

 

Torn Loved Ligament

Christopher Hodge

 

Ephesians 4:1-16

1 I therefore, the prisoner in the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, 3 making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope of your calling, 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all. 7 But each of us was given grace according to the measure of Christ’s gift. 8 Therefore it is said, “When he ascended on high he made captivity itself a captive; he gave gifts to his people.” 9 (When it says, “He ascended,” what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower parts of the earth? 10 He who descended is the same one who ascended far above all the heavens, so that he might fill all things.) 11 The gifts he gave were that some would be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13 until all of us come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to maturity, to the measure of the full stature of Christ. 14 We must no longer be children, tossed to and fro and blown about by every wind of doctrine, by people’s trickery, by their craftiness in deceitful scheming. 15 But speaking the truth in love, we must grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by every ligament with which it is equipped, as each part is working properly, promotes the body’s growth in building itself up in love.

                It amazes me how connected we all are.  We were all birthed out of the same moment of creation.  If we are the products of a six day sovereign God view, or a big bang in the darkness of the universe thought pattern, whether or not God pulled the trigger and created scientific theories, it makes no matter other than that all of creation is connected.  When the wind blows through the rustling leaves of a two hundred year old Live Oak, and that breeze brushes my hair and whispers in my ears, I start to feel the connection to all of which has been created; The squirrel on the massive limb along with the Brown Thrasher singing, hidden under the canopy of green connects with my consciousness and places it all together.  If we can block out the sound of cars and the stenches and poisons of human irresponsibility, if we will just allow ourselves to feel, it will be easy to acknowledge the interchange.

                In the reading from the selection from Ephesians today, Paul deals with our connectivity to the Spirit of Christ.  “But speaking the truth in love, we must grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ,  from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by every ligament with which it is equipped, as each part is working properly, promotes the body’s growth in building itself up in love.”  Paul is not giving an anatomy lesson.  Nor is he speaking of the mechanics of just one simple human body.  He is using the knowledge he had been taught in anatomy and making a parallel to the workings of a human body to that as the “body of Christ” as a whole.  Paul is saying that because of Christ’s love for us, he has given us all gifts out of his love.  We are connected to Christ.  It is through his followers that his love can travel, become mobile, and extend to all hearts across the vastness of the planet.

                But just as we are out of synch with our whole selves when one part of our body is not performing in its full capacity, so is the whole body of Christ when one of it’s members is not performing to its fullest.  The state of the church currently is wounded for sure.  There are torn ligaments slowing the maturity and growth of the love of Christ within us.  Because the whole body is not at one hundred percent, those aching tendons make the body of Christ cranky.  Look at the many warring factions of Christianity in the world.  Instead of embracing the differences and diversities and looking to see how each individual parts work to promote healthy workings of love as a whole, the body has been turning on itself.  And if Christ is the Head, imagine the headache that the warring ligaments have caused him.

                I have wondered much what it will take to get all body parts working together instead of rejecting each other.  I have at times been cynical if the body will ever work at full capacity.  If Christ is love and we are all part of Christ, and we are now making up his body on Earth, imagine what the world would look like if that body of love were free to roam about without the pain of torn ligaments.  If the body could function properly and work in the same direction, then the Kingdom of Heaven would finally be free to glisten and glimmer in the light of the sun on the Earth.

Daily Scripture readings are taken from The Revised Common Lectionary and can be read in full at www.satucket.com/lectionary.  NRSV translation of the Holy Scriptures.  Please feel free to pass along this devotion to whomever you feel may benefit from it. – © Christopher Hodge  2011   email: ChristopherHodgeWriter@gmail.com

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