Being the Body of Christ to Each Other

Christ has no body but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which he looks
Compassion on this world,
Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good,
Yours are the hands, with which he blesses all the world.
                                                                 Theresa of Avila


One of the things we’ve looked at during our time with Barbara Brown Taylor’s An Altar in the World: A Geography of Faith is the Doctrine of Incarnation.

Theologically, the Incarnation (“in the flesh”) is when God in Jesus was born as a human child and lived a human life as Emanuel, God with us. But all of us have the ability to be God incarnate when we use our selves, our bodies, our lives for the good of others.

There has been a lot of “incarnation” happening around our church lately. Here are just a few examples of it:

  • On June 7, Al and Becky Ahrens, Don Burch, Carole Frazee, Hugh Lifson and Nate, Ava and Emery Willems helped serve the free evening meal at First Pres in Cedar Rapids.
  • After the terrible shootings at Mother Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina on June 17, our congregation responded in two ways:
    • Connie Proffitt and the Knitting Group sent that church the remaining five prayer shawls with a note of our shared grief at what happened and our desire to offer a visible sign of Christ’s love and our caring.
    • On Sunday, June 21 we rang our church bell in solidarity with Charleston area churches (and beyond!). Impressively, we received a thank you note for our participation from the Charleston Area Convention and Visitors Bureau (having indicated online that we would be doing so), telling us the “ringing of the bells brought a message of hope to so many.”
  • On Thursday, June 25 Becky Ahrens, Barb Bjork and Carol Daly spent a morning volunteering with Matthew 25 Ministry Hub on the west side of Cedar Rapids, harvesting vegetables at their urban farm. This garden provides good, fresh food to lower income residents of on a sliding scale.

This doesn’t even include the “unofficial” gestures of caring that take place every day— phone calls, visits, taking meals, helping out with a move or other need, conversations, hugs, praying for people and situations.

What a privilege to be the hands and feet of Christ to one another! We are blessed to be a blessing.