Thursday, January 13, 2005

a partial commitment to the body...

Broken for community
by F. Kefa Sempangi

Unless we are broken, we are of no use to God.
And unless we are broken, we are of no use to the community of believers of which we are a part.
Hardly any of us can go to his or her Christian community and say, "This is my body which is broken for you. I am laying all my professional skills, abilities, and economic resources at your disposal. Take them and use them as you see fit."

We cannot say this, because we are not broken. We are too proud to give our lives away to people who are not perfect. We don't want to lose ourselves for sinners. We want to find the perfect person and the perfect community, but we never find them.

So, like Judas, we make only a partial commitment to the body of believers to which we belong, and we find our identity in our rebellion from them. Unlike Paul who clearly saw his identity - "an apostle of Jesus Christ" - in terms of his function in the body, we see our identity in how we are different from the body and opposed to it.

If we are following Jesus, we cannot wait for the perfect community. It was while we were yet sinners that Christ allowed his body to be broken for us. Jesus lays the foundation for community life in the midst of betrayal: "the Lord Jesus Christ, the same night in which he was betrayed, took bread..." He gave thanks and broke it and gave it. Our commitment to one another in community can be no less than his: "This is my body broken for you."

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