The Pathologic Pancreas
For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Romans 12:4
The human body is a profoundly complex organism, requiring multiple systems working together in order for it to function properly. When one part experiences dysfunction, the effect ripples through the rest of the body, causing disease and sometimes, death. For instance, we don’t even notice that our pancreas exists as long as it produces the insulin necessary for glucose metabolism. When it stops producing insulin however, as with type one diabetes, the effects are catastrophic. All the parts of the body must do their job for it to function as it was designed.
This is why I’ve always found today’s passage odd. In it, Paul explained that God chose us to be the body of Christ now that he’s no longer physically on Earth. While Jesus walked the Earth, he carried out the father’s will. Now that he’s gone, we’ve replaced him, becoming his hands and feet. We all have different jobs, and it’s our purpose to carry out those jobs. At least that’s how it’s supposed to work.
I’ve found today’s passage odd because it sounds like a terrible plan to me. It seems awfully risky to use such flawed people to replace such a perfect Christ. It appears God is putting his plan in the hands of a hopelessly dysfunctional group of people. We’re supposed to follow him, but more often, we just say the right words while we continue to live for ourselves. Like the diabetic’s pancreas, we simply don’t do what we were made to do, because that would mean sacrificing what we want to do.
Sure, we say we follow Christ. Do we perform our job in the body though? What is our life purpose? What did God make us to do? If we cannot answer those questions, then it’s quite likely that we’re not doing our part. We may believe and be part of the body, but like the pathologic pancreas, we’re not doing our job – at all.
Today, if I want to fulfill my purpose, I must go to God, asking what it is that he wants me to do with my thoughts, my time, and my money. How do you want me to live? Then, daily, I must do it. Otherwise, I’m just another dysfunctional part of the body.