Posts Tagged ‘Body of Christ’

Pearls are unlike any other jewel. Pearls are the only jewel coming from “living” creation. They are produced by “life”, a life which has reacted to and overcome the working of death. Only when the oyster is wounded does it secretly, in the depths of the sea, produce its pearl. I believe God chose carefully the building materials of Heaven. Revelations 21:21 says that the gates of New Jerusalem are twelve pearls. Each gate was made from one giant pearl.

Entering the New Jerusalem through a giant pearl pictures the passage from death to life. It pictures the debt of gratitude we owe to all those Christians who were wounded, many mortally, and through their testimony we pass from death to life. Their life, though despised by the world, gives us life. As Paul wrote, we are all members of His body,

Ephesians 4:15-16 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.

Love is the power that strengthens and builds the joints and the body of Christ. Love built upon the wounding of Christ, and the fellowship of His sufferings continues the flow of Love which His body needs to grow and thrive. There is no Pearl without a wounding. There is no Pearl from a comfortable oyster. The church will never know the beauty and power  of Christ’s Love​ without pain, trials and hardship. There will be no Pearl necklace adorning a “comfortable” church.

Through the wounding of Christ, His Life was released to us His body. Through the miracle of Christ’s resurrection, a glorious church continues to be empowered by His Love.​ We are to be a pearl of great value, adorning the New Jerusalem! This Pearl is so valuable, that we are to sell everything so that we may obtain it. Yet this Pearl cannot come forth without a wounding. As Christ was wounded for our transgressions and now is exalted in Glory, so too we must accept the wounding of the Cross, dying to our flesh, so that we might share in His Glory!

Why Pesecute me SaulIn the Parable of the Prodigal Son, I always identified with the Elder Brother, but in a good way. I was the hard working, father pleasing son. I tried to do the responsible things, while my younger brother went off and broke our father’s heart. God has opened my eyes to see just how lost the Elder Brother was, and to see my life in the same light. So the question I find myself asking is this, “What must the Elder Brother realize in order to bring about a better ending to this parable?”

This morning the Spirit brought Saul of Tarsus to mind. He was the classic Elder Brother, yet his life had an amazing turnaround. He was at that point in our parable where the Father was pleading with him to come and join the feast with his found and forgiven younger brother. He thought he was OK, that he was the righteous one.

But Saul, blinded by a bright light heard the words, “I am Jesus, the one you are persecuting!”

Younger Brothers in the Body of ChristIn that one moment our Lord let Saul know that all found younger brothers are actually connected to Him! And Saul rejecting and persecuting these younger brothers was actually hurting the Son of God. The Elder Brother in our parable could only focus on what he had and how his younger brother had wasted everything. He rejected the feast as a wasteful extravagance. But in rejecting the feast and the younger brother, he was rejecting the Father, for they were intimately connected!

Saul (now called Paul) wrote years later that “we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and we all belong to one another.” Rom 12:5.

asleep in our safe coffinIf Elder Brothers in the church are to re-write the ending of the Parable of the Prodigal Son, we must see our connectedness with those lost younger brothers. We must see that seeking after them is the way we strengthen our relationship with our Father!

To be comfortable in our self-righteousness is to be comfortable in our coffin, safe and protected from the world, but cold and lifeless as far as our relationship with the Father. We must see what is missing. We must see that our Savior, our Christ is aching without the younger brother. We must see that by ignoring our younger brother we are actually ignoring our Savior!

Father: Open my heart to see and feel the needs of your heart, the relationship you desire with the lost younger brothers. May I see that my apathy toward younger brothers is really apathy and coldness toward You!