Like a Kidney Stone
. . . We are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love. Ephesians 4:15-16
I’ve never had one, but I’ve taken care of enough patients who’ve had kidney stones to know that I never want one. It’s always amazed me that such a tiny thing, only a millimeter or two in size, could make grown men and women writhe in agony. It’s the kind of unbearable pain that cannot be ignored as it makes everyday activities impossible. For for the one suffering from this tiny little stone, everything stops until the problem is addressed. Under normal circumstances, we don’t think much of our kidneys, ureters, and bladder. When they’re working, we simply take their functioning for granted. When something like a kidney stone comes along though, it throws everything off as we become painfully aware of the dysfunction.
Paul didn’t refer to us as kidneys, but in today’s passage, he did say that we all have a part to play in the body of Christ. Since Jesus is no longer physically present, his church is his body, or presence, here on Earth. We all have our own responsibility in it. Paul said that when every part is working properly, the body functions and grows, sharing Christ’s love with those around it.
As followers of Christ, we’re all part of his body and we all have our role to play. We don’t have to fix the world, but we do have some function that must be performed for the body to work properly. When we refuse to do our part, it causes some dysfunction for the whole organism. The problem, of course, is that a lot of us are doing absolutely nothing. When enough parts refuse to do their job, the body ceases to function properly.
What is my job in the body of Christ? If we don’t know, we must go to God, asking him what it is that he wants us to do. Again, as individuals, we don’t have to be the whole body. We don’t have to save the world. We simply must do what we can, with what God’s given us, to impact those he’s placed in our lives. If we claim to follow Christ, then we must obey him, loving those around us. When we don’t fulfill our role, the body writhes in dysfunction. When everyone does their part, the body functions properly and the collective efforts and results will be amazing to see.