Gather - Pt. 2, The Body of Christ

There are people who pass through this life too quickly but leave their mark so powerfully that they will never be forgotten. Their memory is so readily in our minds, even if we never knew them, that a mere mention of something they said or did opens the floodgates of memory. When you hear someone say, “I have a dream…” who do you think of? This iconic speech has left its mark on our society for generations to come. The reality is, Martin Luther King’s dream is far from realized and it is up to God’s people to carry the torch forward as a light to the nation to be the people who God has called us to be. We are a people who are free from the tyranny of ego that stems from our identity as any particular race, creed, party, or history. We are a people who have clothed ourselves with Christ in baptism (Galatians 3:26-29). Those who have received baptism, have died to any ego that divides us as people. Christ, who is our peace, has brought us all together as one people by destroying all barriers and making us one new humanity through the one Spirit (Ephesians 2:14-18). 

If you’ve never heard King’s full speech, you can listen to it HERE or read it HERE

King’s dream is rooted in God’s dream and intention for his creation. From the very beginning, God’s desire was that all people would be together as one people, empowered by presence, illuminated by his Spirit. Last week, Cody spoke about the need to gather because we are God’s Temple, the place where Israel came to receive forgiveness and to be transformed into the people God wanted them to be. From the Temple, they were to go out and be a light to the nations. God, giving us his Spirit, has made us his Temple that we might be a light to the nations offering grace and peace to all we encounter. This week, as we look at what it means to Gather, we will talk about being the body of Christ (Ephesians 4:15-16).

At the basis of God’s dream, and the dream of Dr. King, is love. God in his essence is love. Love expressed between Three persons, the Trinity. Love flowing from the Father to the Son, Son to the Father, flowing through and in the Holy Spirit which holds this eternal dance in place forever. This love danced its way down from heaven and became man. Love as a baby. Love to conquer hate. Love that would not be understood by those who keep their foot in the ego of this world. Love that allowed hate to do its worst to it. This love, this eternal love divinely dancing, conquered death and broke down the barriers of hate that keep people from dancing in love. This love illuminated humanity to properly dance again. This love brings humanity together into the divine dance of the Trinity, in community with Father, Son, and Spirit. 

Love manifested itself in the man, Jesus, and when he ascended back into heaven, he breathed his love on us (the Spirit) that we might dance to a new tune (Revelation 5:9-10; 14:3). We, together, are the body of Christ that we might show the world how to dance. We continue the ministry of Jesus to reconcile the world back to God, in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:16-21). We do this by Gathering together. We do this by recognizing our place in the body of Christ, and each part does its work to grow and build up the body (Ephesians 4:14-16; 1 Cor. 12-13; Romans 12).

If you are not connected to the Body of Christ, the church, how can you build the body up in love? Being in relationship with other Christians is where we learn to dance with God, Father-Son-Spirit, in Love. The dream must first be realized in the Church and then spread to the world.