by Dan Michalek
“We are from different parts of the world. We speak different languages. And yet we share the same Savior. This is so cool!”
Those were my opening lines one Sunday in the church I attend whenever I’m in Guatemala. The pastor invited me to share greetings, and so I stepped up with Alex, my interpreter and Spanish teacher. (I wonder how he handled that last sentence….)
There’s an expression that always comes back to me fresh and new when I’m here: the Body of Christ. It’s another name for the church, really, but the church on a cosmic scale. There are three parts to this Body.
- All who are no longer alive on this side of eternity. They may be some of the great saints and heroes of the faith who are known world-wide, or they may be relatives or friends known to a precious few, but they share the timeless love of Jesus and so are part of the Body of Christ. The Bible tells us that they still play key roles in life today: “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith,” (Hebrews 12:1-2)
- All who are currently alive who share the timeless love of Jesus. This group transcends borders, barriers, and anything else that may try to separate. It’s what I was alluding to in my opening sentences. So strong is the bond in this Body that we’re told, “If one member suffers, all suffer together with it; if one member is honored, all rejoice together with it.” (1 Corinthians 12:26)
- Those who are yet to be but nonetheless will still share the timeless love of Jesus. Countless years ago God said to Abram, “Look toward heaven and count the stars, if you are able to count them….So shall your descendants be.” (Genesis 15:5) It’s a wondrous mystery, but these shining stars speak of the Body as well.
And indeed, this is so very cool!
“Now you are the Body of Christ, and individually members of it,” Paul said. (1 Corinthians 12:27) Might he say that about you? Come to Guatemala and see how strong the Body is in another part of the world. You’ll never be the same.
The House of Healing. Changing the world, one life at a time.