If there’s one sure sign of a good, healthy church, it is that each and every member there has a special place. Each contributes to the whole, as well as receiving from the whole, from each other.
In that there is a healthy sense of both belonging and of mission, in and through Jesus. This is aptly likened to a human body, and indeed is called “the body of Christ.” Each has their gift, their part in the functioning and well being of the whole.
This is to be at work, I take it, especially in local churches, or regular gatherings of believers committed to the Lord and to each other.
Church has often been a gathering of the faithful to receive the word and the sacrament from the pastor or the priest. In that context it often seems to have little to do with the interplay and working of the body/group/members as a whole, and to the extent that is the case, such churches are missing out on the vision God’s word sets forth, particularly in the letters, especially in Paul’s.
While the analogy of body is particularly at play/work when the community is meeting together, surely it is not confined to that. The good works for other believers and people certainly should include this inter-working and partnership, as well.
This is a vision of community growing together into maturity in Christ, into the likeness of Christ. And it is one of mission; as this is lived out in love, God’s love in Jesus is made evident to the world.
And so we in Jesus are in this together for the world.