SERMON TITLE: “The Body of Christ”
SERMON TEXT: 1 Corinthians 12:12-31a
PREACHER: Rev. Kim James
OCCASION: July 8, 2018, at First UMC
Have any of you been to a doctor’s office this week? Or spent time talking with someone who has? My husband Steve and I have noticed that as we’re aging, we’re becoming more aware of what’s going on, or not going on, in our bodies. The older we get, the more time we spend thinking about and talking about our aches and pains. But body fascination isn’t just a middle- or old-age phenomenon. When our kids were young, it seemed like an awful lot of our family conversations had to do with bodily functions. I recall one book that Grandma James sent for us to read to our kids. The children’s book made the point that, even though we’d prefer to avoid it, even flatulence is normal for the human body.
Of course, the norms and mysteries of the body are extensive. An anatomy book could teach us about bones and muscles and show us pictures of where our various organs reside. Detailed pictures might even show how nerve synapses fire, sending messages from our brain to our fingers and toes. Some of you here this morning could point to some non-human parts in your bodies due to knee replacements and artificial hips—all of which provide you a better quality of human life.
A science article I read this week got even more detailed. It indicated that our “human gut is home to . . . approximately 100 trillion bacteria cells” which outnumber our human cells by about ten times. “The microorganisms present in the gut are mainly bacteria and belong to more than 1000 species.”1 It’s like there’s a whole ecosystem of diverse creatures living inside our intestinal tract, most of them helping us to digest our food and allowing us to fight off infections and be healthy. Many of us have learned the hard way what happens when we take a dose of antibiotics that kills off those many beneficial bacteria. Just like we need a lot of different organs to be healthy, we also need the vast variety of microorganisms that inhabit our body.
The Apostle Paul was no microbiologist, but he apparently knew enough about the human body to use it as a metaphor for how we are connected together as Christians. In our reading from First Corinthians 12, let’s see what we can learn about the body of Christ.