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BODY OF CHRIST


Sermon Illustrations

BODY OF CHRIST

At a meeting of the American Psychological Association, Jack Lipton, a psychologist at Union College, and R. Scott Builione, a graduate student at Columbia University, presented their findings on how members of the various sections of 11 major symphony orchestra perceived each other. The percussionists were viewed as insensitive, unintelligent, and hard-of-hearing, yet fun-loving. String players were seen as arrogant, stuffy, and unathletic. The orchestra members overwhelmingly chose "loud" as the primary adjective to describe the brass players. Woodwind players seemed to be held in the highest esteem, described as quiet and meticulous, though a bit egotistical. Interesting findings, to say the least! With such widely divergent personalities and perceptions, how could an orchestra ever come together to make such wonderful music? The answer is simple: regardless of how those musicians view each other, they subordinate their feelings and biases to the leadership of the conductor. Under his guidance, they play beautiful music. 

Today in the Word, June 22, 1992.


"The society into which the Christian is called is not a collective but a Body. It is in fact that Body of which the family unit is an image on the natural level. "If anyone came to it with the misconception that the Church was a massing together of persons as if they were pennies or chips, he would be corrected at the threshold by the discovery that the Head of this Body is utterly unlike its inferior members -- they share no divinity with Him except by analogy. "We are summoned at the outset to combine as creatures with our Creator, as mortals with immortal, as redeemed sinners with sinless Redeemer. "His presence, the interaction between Him and us, must always be the overwhelmingly dominant factor in the life we are to lead within the body; and any conception of Christian fellowship which does not mean primarily fellowship with Him is out of order." 

From Transposition and Other Addresses; used by permission of William Collins Sons and Co., Ltd., in Daily Walk, May 18, 1992.


Only kings, editors, and people with tapeworm have the right to use the editorial "we." 

Mark Twain.


In March of 1981, President Reagan was shot by John Hinckley, Jr., and was hospitalized for several weeks. Although Reagan was the nation's chief executive, his hospitalization had little impact on the nation's activity. Government continued on. On the other hand, suppose the garbage collectors in this country went on strike, as they did not long ago in Philadelphia. That city was not only in a literal mess, the pile of decaying trash quickly became a health hazard. A three-week nationwide strike would paralyze the country. Who is more important--the President or a garbage collector? In the body of Christ, seemingly insignificant ones are urgently needed. As Paul reminds us, "The head cannot say to the feet, 'I don't need you!' On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable" (I Cor. 12:21-22). 

David Parsons.


Remember putting your face above a headless frame painted to represent a muscle man, a clown, or even a bathing beauty? Many of us have had our pictures taken this way, and the photos are humorous because the head doesn't fit the body. If we could picture Christ as the head of our local body of believers, would the world laugh at the misfit? Or would they stand in awe of a human body so closely related to a divine head?  

Dan Bernard.




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