“But God has put together all the parts of the body. And he has given more honor to the parts that didn’t have any. In that way, the parts of the body will not take sides. All of them will take care of one another. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it. If one part is honored, every part shares in its joy. You are the body of Christ. Each one of you is a part of it.” 1 Cor 12:25-27.
And then begins the most famous chapter ever written on Love…
And it is probably not a coincidence that an exposition on the Body of Christ is followed by a call to radical, true Love.
And if it is true that when one part suffers all the parts suffer, then our words and our actions and treatments ought to be slung over our shoulders with all the respect of an honorable weight…to be carried inside the walls of The Church, up onto its platforms, and out of our lips, God help us. Like a solider knows the sacredness of self-sacrifice and duty and this is why he must carry himself so. Because a weight is not the same as a burden.
And when God speaks and moves in hearts that open, He cannot be quenched. Because Holy Fire is not tamed. Because Holy Spirit Fire fell and still falls on even the most unlikely. Praise be!
It first Fell in a home, a room, a space.
And immediately it burst through the doors out into The World because it was impossible to keep those Fire-Flames still inside those walls.
And what happened inside a Home kept right on happening and it’s been happening for two thousand years still. Falling untamed. Falling and bursting.
And the point of Home is not to stay there, because Jesus calls us to go out and go forth…even if that means going out to bring others in. Like how we go out to bring others home to their True Home.
Making disciples means meeting people where they are.
Making disciples means going forth…
Thank God, Esther did not “go home”. Instead she went forth and saved a nation.
Thank God, Jael did not “go home”. Instead she went forth and defeated an army.
Thank God, The Women did not “go home”. Instead they witnessed the supernaturally healed body of Jesus Christ, and they ran full of joy to tell the story…
Thank God, Corrie Ten Boom did not “go home”. Instead she went forth, boldly proclaimed the Living-Word of Forgiveness and challenging the healing of those who have endured unspeakable hate. And the healing of those who caused it.
Thank God, Catherine Booth did not “go home”. Instead she went forth and helped to found one of the most established charities in the history of the world: The Salvation Army.
Thank God, Mother Theresa did not “go home”. Instead she went forth and made her home with the least of these and loved the forgotten in a way that only a Mother can. Wrapping her arms around the filthy, the lonely, wrapping her arms around entire city blocks and nations and decades of forgotten souls.
Thank God, Christine Caine did not “go home”. Instead she went forth and founded the largest anti-human-trafficking non-profit in the world and rescued men and women in a way that only one who suffered through years of sexual abuse can.
Thank God for the artists, the singers and dancers, the missionary women who boldly proclaim the Gospel. Some alongside their Lovers, their Husbands. Some alone, because God called them alone. The Pastors who go forth and weep with the lost and hold the broken and show the face of Jesus by being his hands that hold their faces and their bodies.
And I agree with Ann Voskamp when she says, “this is not about whether women should preach to men or have authority over men — this is ultimately about God clearly calling women to be co-labourers in the Kingdom, to preach the Gospel in everything they do, to be mothers of the faith.”
God calls women to do Mighty and Holy work, and it is when The Body of Christ is fully at work that we best portray the Glory and Goodness of the Gospel.
Because Pastoring a life is more than a title and the recognition of being “on staff” or “paid”.
And platforms are given, and we have the opportunity and the honor to Bear Witness to the Power of the Gospel. Not to shame and belittle The Body of Christ.
And they will know we are Christians by our love for one another…
But either way, that Holy Fire will never stop falling…