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Happy Monday Morning!
Before I write my main blog, I wanted to share an amazing product that I discovered this weekend. My girls had a softball fundraiser where they sold over 50 loaves of Strawberry Bread and Banana Bread. Wow!
Needless to say, 50 loaves sold = 50 loaves to be baked! We had a lot of baking to do, so I decided to try something different while we were picking up the 20 lb bag of flour and 10 lb bags of sugar at the store. We always make such a mess flouring pans, and then some of it sticks to the bread and it just isn’t very pretty.
Well, we decided to try this product:
Bakers Joy Cake Pan Spray 2 Pack
and what a difference it made! One can was enough to flour 57 bread pans (we reused the pans) and we still have some left over. The bread rolled right out of the pan — no sticking and no ugly white residue. If you’re going to be baking anytime soon, I highly recommend the
Bakers Joy Cake Pan Spray 2 Pack. It made our baking lives much easier.
Recently I was asked to write some short introductions/devotions for a ladies’ retreat at our church. The theme for the retreat was Jesus, the anchor for my soul.
I started reading about the different parts of a ship, and how they relate to each other. When I came to the hull, the body of the ship, of course I began to think about the body of Christ.
I’ve grown up in church, volunteered at church, and been a paid employee at church at different points in my life. Having done all that, I’ve had plenty of time to observe the best and worst days of church members and ministers.
So many people have been hurt by members of the church. How is that possible, when the first commandment of Jesus is to love? The answer is simple: because the church is made of of sinners; just like you, and me.
The Hull of the Ship
The hull is the watertight body of the ship, which protects the cargo, machinery, and accommodation spaces of the ship from the weather, flooding, and structural damage.
While not majestic, like the ship’s sails, or easily recognizable and symbolic, like the ship’s wheel and anchor, the hull is the body. It holds everything else together.
Just as the hull holds and protects the ship’s parts, the body of Christ, the church (that’s us, folks), holds and protects its members.
I Corinthians 12:12-14; 24-27
12 Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For we were all baptized by[c] one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. 14 Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.
24 …But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, 25 so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. 26 If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.
27 Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.
Often I find myself forgetting that I am part of the body, and that each of you are part of me. If someone irritates me or gets on my nerves, I may be quick to internally lose patience or criticize, not remembering that I am criticizing myself at the same time I condemn my brother or sister; because they are part of the whole; part of MY WHOLE. We are both part of the body of Christ.
I will never forget one day at the beach when I was playing with my kids. I started to run after one of the girls to splash them when my foot came down hard on a shell, which broke off into my heel. I immediately fell to the sand and cradled my foot, applying pressure and gritting my teeth. My family ran to check on me, to see how they could help.
Soon, the pain receded enough that I allowed my husband to pour clean water over my foot to check the wound. All I could see was a black spot. It still hurt, but I was determined to enjoy the day.
We eventually went home and got cleaned up. My foot still hurt, but I figured it was just bruised. I am good at ignoring things that I don’t want to face. A week went by, then a month, then a year. My foot hurt off and on, and sometimes I limped and other times I just bent my foot to walk on the side or to tiptoe.
Finally, the pain grew, the spot enlarged, and I began to run a constant low grade fever and generally feel sick. I went to the podiatrist and he told me that I had what looked like a broken rock or piece of shell in my foot that had gotten infected.
Fortunately, he was able to remove it (along with a rather large chunk of infected flesh) from the bottom of my foot. There was no permanent damage other than to our bank account and my pride, as I hobbled around in a big black boot for another six weeks.
My foot, or rather my feet, balance and hold together my entire body; yet I had ignored them because they didn’t seem to be as important as my mind or heart. I’d hobbled around at less than full capacity, because my body was injured.
Because I ignored the pain
Because I ignored PART of my body, infection set in and spread, causing symptoms to affect the entirety of me. I couldn’t function at 100% spiritually, mentally, or emotionally, because my body was sick, physically.
Like the hull protects the body of the ship, WE, as the body, protect each other through the strength of Christ. We are encouraged to build each other up to meet EACH OTHERS NEEDS (Ephesians 4:29), not ours alone.
As I remember the injury to my foot, and the way I ignored it to the harm of my body, I am reminded of injuries that were done to me by others in the body of Christ.
Having been raised in church, having the church as my FAMILY, there have been plenty of opportunities to be hurt by others. And to hurt others, myself.
I’m so sorry if you’ve been hurt by someone in the body of Christ. And I’m sorry if you, like me, have hurt someone else. However, I am encouraged because the body, through Christ, can be repaired and can minister to each other. The body, like the hull, can once again protect and prepare the rest of the ship for the storms of this life.
Today I pray that if you are an injured part of the hull (the body) that you will forgive; that you will allow yourself to be healed and hugged and loved. That you will go forward and protect others. That you will BE the BODY of Christ.