- Sonya Leigh Anderson
Lament for a Broken Body
Updated: Apr 6
And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.” Luke 22:19
There are so many things going on in this world…going on in our news…that are horrible and hard. Heartbreaking hard.
“But of all of it, this one hits closest to home.” I made the comment to Kyle during our commute last week. Talking about the shooting at the Christian school. Because I’ve been a teacher in a similar space. My five boys were students in just such a place. And now my granddaughter walks innocently through those very same halls. “It could happen to us.” I say it matter-of-factly. Not with fear so much as practical admission. We are not immune to the world’s violence.
For several days my heart is heavy…my thoughts are jumbled. What does it mean to be the people of God in the midst of so much mess? This is not a new question, but right now it seems especially relevant. I grapple with what I know—and what I don’t…
We are a people set apart. We are in this world, but not of it. We are strangers in a foreign land. We are Exiles in Babylon. We live in and for a kingdom that is not of this world…a heavenly kingdom that spans our globe.
We have a CALLING.
As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all (Ephesians 4:1-6.)
Monday night we gathered with neighbor friends to study Ephesians. We read this text from chapter four, and we read it again. Each sentence, every word, thick with meaning. Thick with longing. I talked about being sad. Kyle talked about being angry. Not only because of the news…but also because our BODY, which is central to our CALLING is
so. very. broken.
Paul in his letter to the first century church spends three chapters (which of course weren’t really chapters the way he wrote it) writing about all…and I do mean ALL…that Christ has accomplished for us.
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ (1:3).
I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe (1:18-19).
Because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus…(2:4-6)
Verse after verse after verse of the very best kind of good news regarding ALL the things Christ already accomplished. And then. This shocking revelation of God’s eternal and cosmic purpose:
His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit (2:15b-18).
Jesus gave his life to make all of us ONE.
One God and Father of all
The mystery and the miracle and marvel of this story is that we are ONE not only with Jesus, but we are ONE with each other.
Which seems like it matters an awful lot when the world around us is falling apart. More crucial than ever that we live a live WORTHY of this one calling. Which is to say—
Completely humble and gentle
Bearing with one another in love
Making every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.
Listen my brothers and sisters. In a world that is already shattered, the last thing needed is more of our stomping. Our CALL is to rebuild and repair and restore and to HEAL. First in our OWN BODY
And then…together…taking our breathtaking miracle out into that oh-so-desperate world.
We are people of great spiritual blessing for a greater purpose. We are ones who bring reconciliation where it is needed most.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us
To him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever!