I’ve always wished that I could have a long, unhurried conversation with each of our high school graduates before they go off to college or work or whatever. But they are so busy these days. I hardly get the chance to ask them what they are thinking of majoring in when what I really want to do is ask them what they are going to be believing in. Since they probably don’t want to have that conversation with me, I’ve decided to write them a letter, even if they never take the time to read it. Perhaps their parents will and possibly it will make them feel better about letting go. I know it will make me feel better. So, here it is:
What is left? After all, Jesus left, and the work of the kingdom was not finished yet. He still needs a body here on earth, so he drafted us. (Imagine that!) The Church is the Body of Christ and Christ is our last best hope for peace in the world today, which is why I want to cry when I think about what we have done to his body! Every time we exclude this group or that group, it is like cutting off a limb or ripping out a vital organ. We are all members of the body, so the foot can’t say to the hand, “I’m better than you.” The ear can’t say to the nose, “I have no need of you.” The lungs can’t say to the pancreas, “You are ‘incompatible with Christian teaching.’ We don’t want you.” A fully functioning Body of Christ needs all of our bodies and all of our stories. To be a recognizable image of the all-loving God, we need all of our lives and all of our loves. I’m still waiting for the Church to be the Body of Christ.
When you eat this bread and drink this cup, remember that God created the whole universe through Christ, through the Word, as it says in John 1: “...All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being.” And that means that everything that is, every minute bit of matter, every living thing, every cell in every body already bears the imprint of Christ. Before we are ever baptized or come to this table, we have Christ in us. All of us. The only problem is that we don’t know that. In too many bodies and souls, Christ is there, but he is languishing there, starving for our attention. Over these past five weeks, Jesus got my attention. I asked for the renewal time because I realized that the Christ in me was hungry and needed to be fed. What about the Christ in you?