The gifts Christ gave were . . .
to equip the saints for the work of ministry,
for building up the body of Christ,
until all of us come to the unity of the faith
and of the knowledge of the Son of God,
to maturity, to the measure of the full stature of Christ.
– Ephesians 4:11-13
If we, as we begin the month of September, look in the mirror, it’s doubtful that we’ll see it.
But if we look in the sanctuary, the likeness appears, clearly, vividly, unmistakably . . .
the likeness to the body of Christ,
a likeness that is visible even during a pandemic,
diverse parts united for God’s purposes,
sinews of love joined in harmony,
shining as a lighthouse upon a darkened sea.
The body of Christ, blessed with the hands of New Covenant Community Church –
the hands that serve meals at Gennesaret, and write checks for the people of Haiti,
the hands that fill Buckets of Care for the Central American Medical Outreach,
the hands that place books in the hands of elementary school children and dig in the dirt
of the Community Garden to provide food for strangers.
The body of Christ, blessed with the heart of New Covenant Community Church –
a heart large enough to make a place for someone else
a heart that understands that other lives might be very different from our own
a heart that genuinely cares for our fellow human beings across the globe
The body of Christ, blessed with the voice of New Covenant Community Church –
a voice whose prayers refresh the world with the fragrance of newness,
a voice that trumpets the message of justice and peace with Christ’s clarion call,
a voice whose melodies of faith intone new paradigms of faith, hope, and love.
The body of Christ, blessed with the eyes of New Covenant Community Church –
the eyes to see another’s tears and paint for them a rainbow in the sky . . .
the eyes to see beyond the present moment and envision a new horizon splashed with the
colors of God . . .
the eyes to see the beauty that unfolds before us when we recognize that there is neither
Jew nor Greek, neither slave nor free, neither male nor female, but we are all one in
The body of Christ, revealed through the disciples of New Covenant Community Church –
who display generosity by graciously offering our gifts to others . . .
who demonstrate compassion by truly caring about improving the quality of life for all
people . . .
who embody the virtues of patience and forgiveness when things don’t proceed as
smoothly as we would like.
Yet, through the hands,
the eyes, in this extension of the body of Christ,
someone will have enough to eat tonight
someone will have decent clothes to wear
someone will be much healthier
someone will learn the skills they need to survive
someone knows that there is at least one person in this world who cares.
And so, we continue to grow . . .
to grow in faith . . .
to grow as God’s people . . .
to grow as the body of Christ . . .
until that glorious day when all humanity will be like Christ,
and all people will come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God,
rejoicing in God’s gift of abundant life
and celebrating in the kingdom of God
that will have come on earth, as it is already is in heaven.