“…so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and all are parts of one another.” — Romans 12:5 MEV
By one measure of evangelical Christianity, I am a bad Christian — I haven’t been to church in way over a year. (In my defense, my shoulder was broken, and our church is full of huggers, and I didn’t want anyone touching me, so …)
At the same time, I have never felt closer to Christ himself; daily walking in his love.
Yet as far as the rest of the “body of Christ” — in my case my tribe is some variant of evangelical Christianity, this is where I was brought up and where, if I went to church, I would worship with others — I don’t feel like I’ve missed anything. When this verse reminded me that we are all one because we are the body of Christ — I didn’t see a lot of significance to that.
Christ is the center of my life and the center of everything, so why should I bother about a group of people who are often annoying to me, a lot of teaching that no longer seems relevant to me, and a building or a place to go on Sundays where no one even noticed when I quit showing up?
I felt like Jesus was reminding me: the same transformation that’s taking place in me, changing me into the very substance of Christ, which is love, is taking place in every member of his body. At different stages for different people to be sure, but each one has Christ on the inside; each one is Jesus, if I look for him.
It’s not that I need to try to manufacture unity with those who claim Christ’s name, but that I need to realize, the same way that I love to fellowship with my Sweet Lord — the same love that is between him and me — can be extended to all, because all are made in his image and all are being transformed into him.
This still doesn’t want to make me go back to church on Sunday. But it shows me that my fellow believers are all Christ to me, and I am Christ to them, and to anyone who comes across my path. We are all members of his body, united in love.