The broken body

I am currently attending The Academy for Spiritual Formation, a two year program of spiritual growth created by the Upper Room.

I had an intriguing thought today, though I don’t know if or where it might lead. We’ve been studying and discussing “Christian Spirituality in the Global Context,” meaning that we’re addressing inter-religious dialogue and, to some degree, the approaches of exclusivism, inclusivism, and pluralism and how they are integrated to various world religions. We also get to talking about the same approaches within religions, eg. intra-religious dialogue.

We were talking about the various divisions within the Body of Christ today, and I started to wonder. Ecumenism emerged as a strong force in Christian denominations in the late nineteenth and into the twentieth centuries; but at the same time established churches were working toward some degree of unity, there was also the sudden growth (arising from the charismatic movement) of modern independent – so called “non-denominational” – congregations. So it seems that the Church, the “body of Christ,” is irretrievably fractured…

…but we fracture the body of Christ each week in our worship, give it to one another, and say, “the body of Christ, broken for you.”

I am beginning to wonder – and don’t have any insights or convictions as yet:

Could the current brokenness of the body of Christ actually be part of God’s plan? Part of God’s desire that all might be saved?

With such a diversity of Christian expressions, there is the possibility that though one particular church or understanding of Christianity won’t get past one’s defenses, or be able to be understood from one’s perspective or life experience… another just might…

Also, perhaps the brokenness of the imperfect body of Christi in the world is part of the plan, to remind us that we cannot heal the scars or wounds of Christ. We cannot create or live in a “perfect” Church. Only God (through resurrection?) can redeem, heal, and bring wholeness.

And, as was true in the past, so perhaps it is true today taht God chooses to work through the broken body to bring such healing…

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One response to “The broken body

  1. A good thought to chew on. I shall.

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