Summary: A sermon about finding love, meaning and hope within the Body of Christ.
“If Everyone were an Eye, How would we Hear?”
By: Ken Sauer, Pastor of East Ridge United Methodist Church, Chattanooga, TN
Raise your hand if you’ve ever had a toothache.
Nobody who has ever had that experience will need to be reminded just how all-consuming that kind of pain can be.
Now raise your hand if you’ve ever had 4 toothaches at once!
About 6 years ago, I was on a “Walk to Emmaus,” which is an awesome spiritual retreat I would recommend highly…
…when all four of my Wisdom Teeth hit me with sharp and throbbing pain.
It was time for them to come out—but what could I do?
I was at a 4 day retreat.
I was borrowing aspirin and Tylenol from everyone who had it, but that didn’t help.
I tried to concentrate on the people who were giving their talks, but of course, I couldn’t even begin to think about what people were saying.
The entire weekend was a bust; I couldn’t wait to have it over with!
When, finally, I sat in the orthopedic surgeon’s chair, with a gas mask over my face…
…it was as though my whole body, not just my wretched Wisdom Teeth, had given a great big sigh of relief!!!
This gives us just a little taste of what Paul meant when he wrote, “If one part [of the Body] suffers, every part suffers with it.”
Or think about it this way, our ears enjoy music, but when we are listening to a favorite song it seems as if our whole self is caught up in it.
Often times, I will see someone driving down the road, obviously, with the radio turned up.
They will be bopping along, singing in the car and so forth without a care in the world.
It’s pretty funny to watch.
Or think about the beach, our faces enjoy the warm sunshine, but it seems to penetrate through our entire body!!!
Paul’s eagerness is that we, the Church, should understand how every single member matters as much as every other!!!
In fact, the word “member,” or as the New International Version of the Bible puts it: “part” literally means “limb” or “organ.”
We are a single body, with many “limbs” and “organs.”
We belong to Christ, and thus we belong to one another!!!
“[we] are the body of Christ, and each one of [us] is a part of it.”
How awesome is that?
One of the great things about the Christian Church, is that whatever is happening in the world or whatever your place in the world…
…when you walk through the doors of the Church, every one is on equal footing!
The homeless man is just as vital and important as the millionaire!
The blue collar worker has just as much to contribute as the executive.
The bummed out teenager is just as needed as the happy Christian living on the mountaintop!!!
And when one of us is missing, we are truly missed!!!
We can’t function as we should without each vital organ and limb!
Never let one part say to another, “I don’t need you!”
Jesus proclaims that you and I are to be “the light of the world.”
That is a huge privilege and responsibility!!!
For the darkness which encases our neighborhoods, our places of employment, our schools is very thick and very dangerous.
How can persons know that God’s unconditional love exists if we are not functioning as we should?
How can teenagers, caught in the middle of low self-esteem and a very small world-view withstand the flaming arrows of peer pressure which seek to undo and destroy them?
They can’t if they are unable to “see” that there is another, a better Way!!!
We only love because God first loved us!
We only see because Christ has removed and continues to remove the scales covering our eyes!
And we only serve because Christ has first served us!!!
So, what of those who know nothing about this amazing New Way to live?
Are they to be forgotten and left behind?
No human life is disposable, though the world often treats people as such.
What makes each of us special; what makes each human life sacred is the fact that we are all created in the image of God, and Jesus died to save everyone!!!
Together, as a unit, as the Body of Christ in East Ridge we are to shine as a light in the dark brightly!!!
So bright, indeed, that persons will be drawn to us, or better yet to Jesus!!!
The Church is to be the place where, together, we learn how to be God’s genuinely human beings, worshipping God and serving God by reflecting God’s image into the world and to one another!!!
Is this how you have experienced it?