Body Responsibility

I flinch when I hear it. One of the members of the congregation I serve has undergone surgery. A few days later I check on her progress, and am glad to hear that she’s recovering well. However, only one other person has called to check on her though her surgery has been publicized. It’s not the first time I’ve heard such a discouraging report, and it likely won’t be the last.
Whose fault is this? Should blame be laid on the preacher, the elders, the deacons? Exactly who is responsible for monitoring the welfare of other members?
. . . As I swing my hammer, something goes wrong. Either my aim was off just a bit or my thumb was out of position. At the moment of impact, many things happen within my body. My vocal cords begin vibrating and my lungs thrust air outward to produce a shriek of pain. At the same time, muscles in my arm quickly spring to action to move my thumb toward my mouth, already open to receive and soothe the offended digit. My legs and feet begin convulsing as I bounce up and down, an action I can’t explain but which automatically follows such an injury. Tears push their way through tear ducts in response to the surge of pain, a sensation made possible by a complicated network of nerve cells. When I finally coax my thumb out of my mouth, I note that extra quantities of blood have rushed to the scene to help with the healing process.
A number of physical responses have taken place, and I didn’t have to take time to plan any of them. It’s how a healthy body responds to injury. . . .
Now, back to our question about responsibility toward church members in need: Doesn’t the human body illustrate truths about the Lord’s body? Paul certainly thought so: ” . . . that there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another. And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it” (1 Corinthians 12:25,26, NKJV).
Before beginning his ministry, Jesus worked as a carpenter (Mark 6:3). Little is revealed to us about this work, but it’s likely Jesus bruised his thumb once or twice. As he looked upon the injured member, he could take comfort in knowing the body (he had personally created) would respond in marvelous ways to restore that thumb in minimal time. If the body worked according to divine plan, healing was a certainty.
Jesus also designed the church, his body on earth (Colossians 1:24). As we saw in the passage above, that body is also designed to nurture those who are injured or in need. When the body works as it should, the recovery process is certain.
Who is responsible for checking on members who hurt? We’re all responsible. And to the extent that any member fails to function properly, the entire body is weakened.

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Tim Hall

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