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Unity in the Spirit

In the Fall of 2015, after a series of tests, it was determined that I needed gall bladder surgery. I have had many surgeries and procedures in the past, but this one was much different. My doctor determined that my gall bladder had to be removed ASAP. My spleen was enlarged, my stomach was constantly in knots and there were polyps inside my gall bladder. People began to call me, who had the surgery, and prepared me for a few “possible” side effects. I became very nervous for the surgery.

After my surgery I was unprepared for the recovery. The most painful part of the experience was neck and shoulder pain (because of air pumped into my diaphragm during surgery) and nausea (due to anesthesia and pain meds). When I experienced pain it had nothing to do with the four incisions or the spot where my gall bladder was removed. That was shocking to me! What I noticed was when one part of my body was removed… other parts began to hurt.

The phrase “the Body of Christ” is a common New Testament metaphor for the Church (all those who are truly saved). The Church is called “one body in Christ” in Romans 12:5, “one body” in I Corinthians 10:17, “the body of Christ” in I Corinthians 12:27 and Ephesians 4:12, and “the body” in Hebrews 13:3. The Church is clearly equated with “the body” of Jesus Christ in Ephesians 5:23 and Colossians 1:24.

What happens when one part of the body isn’t functioning properly? The whole body is affected. What happens when one part of the body is cut off? The whole body is affected. Not one part of the body is any greater than another and each part is needed (Romans 12, I Corinthians 12). This was an unexpected side effect of my surgery. It took me weeks to recover from what my doctor said was a “routine” surgery.

When Christ entered our world, He took on a physical body “prepared” for Him (Hebrews 10:5, Philippians 2:7). Through His physical body, Jesus demonstrated the love of God, especially through His sacrificial death on the cross (Romans 5:8). After His bodily ascension, Christ continues His work in the world through those He has redeemed—the Church of Christ (Romans 16:16). When we are saved, this is why the Lord adds us to the church (Acts 2:42). So that we can become a part of something bigger. Better. Stronger.

Let’s work together in the unity of the Spirit of God. Let’s use our talents. Let’s share our spiritual gifts. If one part of the body is hurting, or about to be cut out of the Body, let’s reach out to help. Have a great week!

You are loved.

Dr. Ray Reynolds

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