Each Part United in Christ

By Christina Crumbliss

As a physician, I have a front row seat to the miracle of the human body. One aspect often most striking to me is how interconnected the body is. As children we all learned the silly song, “The knee bone’s connected to the thigh bone. The thigh bone’s connected to the hip bone. The hip bone’s connected to the…” Now, as a primary care physician, I sit with patients on a daily basis as we try to figure out why they are not feeling well and how we can help them feel better.

Truthfully, that’s not always straight forward. It can be difficult to tell if someone’s headache is caused by muscle tension, vascular spasm, poor vision, lack of sleep, or stress. In a world witnessing skyrocketing rates of depression and anxiety, I need not elaborate on the devastating effects poor mental health can have on our quality of life. The point is, something is wrong and it’s throwing everything else out of whack.

Paul didn’t need to go to medical school to learn this. He wrote to the Corinthians describing how this very concept relates to the church.

Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free… Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body… But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be…God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other (Cor. 12:12-13a, 15, 18, 24b-26).

When I talk with people about faith, some themes commonly arise: They have walked away from the church due to being hurt, feeling judged, or not “plugging in.” Some express anxiety over how their clothes or appearance would be perceived on a Sunday morning. As members of Meadowbrook Church, but more importantly as part of the body of Christ, such things should break our hearts. We are, as individuals, quite literally incomplete.

This week, I encourage us to think about how we function as a body. What is our underlying purpose? Are we drawing our fellow man into deeper relationship with Christ, or are we quibbling over little things that aren't important? I suggest we look at some of Jesus’ last words on earth in John 13:34-35, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have love you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”