News from the Tennessee Valley Religion

Rev. Terry Greer

We are the body of Christ

Our secure world has been rocked with the events of the recent days. The devastating affects of Hurricane Katrina will be felt for a long time. Some
call this tragedy the worst natural disaster in American

Also, recent news of several thousand women and children running out of their shoes on a Baghdad bridge to escape rumor of a suicide bomber and then dying in the mass crowd confusion hit us hard. Our hearts literally ache.

As the church and the Christian community, our mission now is to reach out to those who need our help. Our mission is to pray for the survivors and for those who mourn. Our mission is to provide financial resources to aid them in what is sure to be a lengthy recovery.

The mighty God we serve only asks that we trust him in faith through Jesus Christ. In this process we learn the meaning of Jesus the Christ as "the way, the truth and the life," as he described himself. There are so many things in this earthly journey that we simply cannot understand. Of course, natural disaster is only one.

The late German Christian martyr Dietrich Bonhoeffer once said. "The Church is nothing but a section of humanity in which Christ has really taken form." Clearly, it is time for the Christian church, the body of Christ, to take form and reach out in his name.

The Apostle Paul expressed much the same thought with his phrase "the body of Christ." The way he saw it, a new species of humanity was emerging on earth, in whom God himself — the Holy Spirit — was living. They formed the arms and legs and eyes of God on Earth. What's more, Paul acted as if that had been God's goal all along. He wrote, "Do you not know that you yourself are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in you?"

C.S. Lewis once said, "He seems to do nothing himself which he can possibly delegate to his creatures. He commands us to do slowly and blunderingly what he could do perfectly and in the twinkling of an eye. Creation seems to be delegation through and through. I suppose this is because he is a giver."

God has taken the risk and because he did, the world will know him primarily through Christians. For you see, we represent his holiness on Earth. Human beings are to do the work of God on Earth with his divine guidance and direction.

My prayer is that the world will look at the Christian community in the coming days and say, "If you want to see God, then look at the people who belong to him. They are the body of Christ."

May we be faithful in our outreach and in our prayers for these who suffer. For we are "the body of Christ."

The Rev. Terry Greer, senior pastor of Decatur First United Methodist Church, is a guest columnist. For more information, call Melanie Smith on Tuesdays or Wednesdays at 340-2468.

Rev. Terry Greer Rev. Terry Greer

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