Body of Christ

Indeed the Body of Christ consists not of one member but of many members.

The doctors cannot say to the retail workers: You are not necessary. For one feeds the body and the other mends it.

Neither can the CEO’s say to the custodians and trash workers: I have no need of you. For one hand must wash the other.

And we are all the body of Christ.

We cannot say to one another: “it’s ok for this part of the body to become sick and die.”

We cannot chop off any part of our body, because every single part is important.

We cannot tell the teachers and childcare workers that we do not pay you well, because your work is not essential for they tend the seeds of life.

We cannot ignore the truck drivers & postal workers, for they are the circulatory system.

The government cannot say to the immigrants, you are not a part of us: for they stitch society together and gather the nourishment that we need and innovate life itself.

The protestors cannot say to the nurses, your work does not matter. And that your needs are less important than my needs.

The members that we pay the least and ignore the most, are the bones of the body.

Those who we honor and decorate the most, are the least use in a crises.

God has arranged the body, blessing it extravagantly. Inspiring us to work together. For if one part of the body suffers, we all suffer together with it.

If one member is healed and this free to live, then rest is healed: and then freed, with them.

We are of one body, my existence is wrapped up in yours. Let us continue to be the body of Christ, I pray.

Amen.

 

 

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#rejectedsermontitles: we are cannibles! #Jesus=bread of life

Many thanks to Mihee Kim-Kort who discussed the scripture with me for This Everyday Holy Blog which is at the base of this sermon

John 6

Eating as an act is interesting, it is something every human has to do to stay alive.

Ever have a really good meal. The kind where you sit around afterwards and dissect what it was you loved about it? Almost reliving the meal and sharing with one another.

If I were God I probably would have made all food the same, to fit our needs. Here humans is grass, eat it and be nourished. Boom! Done! You are full, but Jesus promises not to just fill us up with some kind of food, but to nourish us in a new way.

But our God instead creates a myriad of flavors for us to try. In fact there are so many that eating a meal with another person creates a special kind of fellowship.

So, we all eat together, and then afterwards we can dissect the meal together. Talking about what was good, and sharing in that experience. We are in essence eating one another’s experiences and sharing into it.

What fills me up, and what I need is probably different than what you need (for instance I am a vegetarian and have been since the womb, meat made my mother feel ill). My husband would state that meat is necessary to meet his needs. What Jesus offers us is not just sufficency, not just enough to feed the whole world, but the right kind of food for you and for me. The food is different, but the experience is uniting. This is why our God is the God of justice because She meets us where we are and leads us to where we need to go.

Jesus is a prime example of that in his ministry, meeting people wherever they are: being stoned, up a tree, by a well even on a cross (if you are a follower of my blog you may notice this as one of my themes). Jesus meets us where we are.

But if you think about it, meal time is the epitome of what it is to experience church. It is to experience the Holy Spirit moving, each in our own way, and then sharing that experience. Ideally, Worship would be like a GREAT meal, where each of us imbibe in worship and then sit down together and talk about which instance of experiencing God–reliving it for others and inviting them to consume that experience with us. We, in that instant, become the Body of Christ. Thus making us cannibles: Eating Christ and Each Other over and over again.

Only God could set up Worship so that shared experiences and differential understandings of scripture and worship could actually DEEPEN our understanding of God.

Let’s Eat!

#MYOGHS a counter to #notmyOGHS, ideas for better theological #media

Presbyterians are awesome. I say this completely biased opinion, but I love, Love, LOVE our theology and integral to that is the community-connectional nature of our theology…We are one in Christ

We shoulder our burden together trying to connect smaller churches with bigger ones, trying to partner up those congregations that differ, trying to reach out into the community…sometimes our actions are not as effective as we like–but we base them on a solid theology.

Were I to run the campaign for One Great Hour of Sharing I would illustrate the following theological statements from 1 Cor 12

Because the Eye cannot say to the hand “I have no need of you” (Someone looking for things, Another person working with their hands)

The body is not made up of one part…but many…(I would make a body shape out of a diverse bunch of bodies)

If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be. (I’d have someone listening, and someone else smelling food)

On the contrary, the members of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable..(maybe share one of our stories of someone who was raised into ministry or service with low resources, or an illustration of the widow’s mite)

For we were all made to drink of one Spirit (water for all)

One Great Hour of Sharing: Because we need each other…

To me Church is…

 

To me Church is like a Wedding, a Memorial and a Grand Opening, it’s like a party,

like a neighbor welcoming you in for cookies (fresh baked) and like a playground for children. It should feel like a space that can be sacred and quiet and joyful noise-y.

Church should feel like there is no “right” way to behave, just respect, love and mutual upbuilding. It should feel like a place to ask questions, to stumble and fall (figuratively and literally). It should feel active, alive and full of stories. It should feel imperfect and incomplete (because we all are), it should be rich in tradition yet lacking in all stuffiness. To me church’s should feel more like AA, College Ministries and

Children’s Museums. It should feel like birthdays and Christmases, Yoga and Meditation, Gardens and Sunsets. It should be full of music and laughter, whispers and wahoos, hugs and kisses. Every single door of the church should be wide open, it should be advertised on craigslist and facebook, there should be huge signs welcoming everyone thru the door, and it should be as easy for crawling babies to find a comfortable spot as those in wheelchairs or who have to pace constantly.

It should be a place to find surrogate grandparents, helpful aunts and uncles and annoying brothers and sisters….It should be a place where interruptions are welcome, surprises are a good thing and change is associated with growth! Church should be Home; at least that’s what it is for me.

Embodied Spirituality: (w)holistic faith and what it means

Good Examples of Embodied Spirituality tend to be as follows

yoga

monks working

liturgical dance

and Mr. Rogers (because he’s the Presbyterian Superhero of faith 🙂

Here is the Spiritual but not religious issue in sum:

Christianity–more and more abstracted and spiritualized religion, emphasizing the moral lessons of the Bible, essentializing Jesus as love and pursuing faith. Like good Augustine-type-people we have more and more distanced ourselves from the body, turning communion into a remembering of Christ. Barb Hedges-Goettl concludes that we have moved away from the reality of the broken, embodied Divinity present in Jesus Christ. A particular example of this can be found in how communion is celebrated (more about this below/in the thesis)

Hence Christianity is about being “spiritual” and has almost nothing to do with our bodies

If anything we should deny our bodily needs, giving quick and easy solutions to issues of 1. addiction: denial, proof that worldly wants are addictive and evil 2. homosexuality: denial its just a bodily impulse and the body is evil 3. Health Issues: If you are truly pure your body will be healed, otherwise better luck in heaven. These are broad generalizations, but you get the idea.

Hence we have an entire generation of the spiritual not religious, because if Jesus is only love, and we should deny the body, why do we need to gather and/or embody Christ through the church? The church doesn’t embody Christ, in fact, it doesn’t even consider embodiment important, so bodies are–literally–gone from the church. Spiritual but not religious people can do all that from home. So that’s it, they’ll be Spiritual, they don’t need to be religious.

If what we eat, how we care for our bodies, where we are present and how we are active are spiritual activities, then spirituality very quickly turns religious….

Barb Hedges-Goettl suggests to us that a vital piece is missing, and that is the living body of Christ. My question is : If we say Christ’s body is both present in communion and embodied by the church, what does this do to our faith: God is NOT JUST present when we see love, God is calling us to presently embody love as a corporate (ie enfleshed/embodied/living-flesh-corpse) of Christ that is out in the community….I find this especially interesting in a digital world, where embodiment is finding new expression–and yet still nothing beats a face to face meeting (you can’t hug on skype)

“In my dissertation I wrote that faith is about meeting God and God acting upon us. God is the life-changing agent/subject, not the object of belief. The living resurrected Christ changes us; he is not just an example to emulate or the purveyor of an ethic or value”–Barb Hedges-Goettl Photo

Dr. Barb Hedges-Goettl ‘s thesis is : The Body is Missing: Eucharistic Theology of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in Conversation with Zwingli, Calvin, and Nevin” (10107), has been submitted to Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in preparation for posting on ProQuest)

PS Shepherd is the best fictional clergy, EVER

“I don’t think it’s going to work….

“I don’t think that’s going to work” This remark was not made as a criticism, but as a statement of what this person saw as the facts of the situation.

“I don’t think people are going to let go”

“Well, that is what we are going to have to learn” I responded

Ultimately we discussed the matter a little more and it ended with the remark “I don’t think people are going to change”

To which I replied “I have to believe they can, or I can’t be a pastor–I have to believe people will change for the better an learn to work together, otherwise what am I doing here?”

Ah, Truth!

What controversial issue was I discussing? Something about technology or homosexuality, something to do with theology or principles? Some issue about the order of worship or where church takes place or who is sitting in what pews (these issues are so often where the rubber hits the road in ministry)

Nope:

Name: Pastor Katy

Quest: To minister to the body of Christ so that we can build the Kingdom of God

Current Mission: To get people to share in the leadership of the Farmer’s Market.

That’s it, the issue is the people who ran the farmer’s market last year have some very important grandparenting duties this summer, plus it was a super-duper-success last year

So I told them, I wanted to put two people in charge of the Farmer’s Market in June, July  and August (with me to open and close in May and Sept/Oct). I started out by noting that

a. delegating is harder work than doing it yourself

b. people are not going to be doing things exactly as we want them

c. BUT its important that people are invested.

Here is the test of ministry, not on theology or worship but politics. How do we work together as a community–but I have said it before and I’ll say it again. I believe the church exists ultimately as community builders–that is true https://i0.wp.com/radiofreebabylon.com/RFB%20Images/CoffeeWithJesus/coffeewithjesus500.jpgKingdom building work, and its hard, its messy and its dirty–but there it is!!!

Now to figure out how to do it!!!!

 

“While Nevin’s …

“While Nevin’s elevation of the church to the status of being Christ’s mystical body resulted in a condemnation of his views by his contemporary, Charles Hodge (1797-1878), president of Princeton Seminary, who particularly objected to the place of the church in Nevin’s work, stating that the whole spirit of The Mystical Presence “is churchy,”presenting “all our access to Christ [as] through a mediating church,” ascribing “to the outward church, the attributes and prerogatives of the mystical body of Christ.”-

-Barb Hedges-Goettl,

how about that, the whole church used to be considered Spiritual and not Religious