"Joy is the simplest form of gratitude.”

Karl Barth, 20th-century theologian

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God put everything under Christ’s feet and made him head of everything in the church, which is his body. His body, the church, is the fullness of Christ, who fills everything in every way.

Ephesians 1:22-23

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Often, when we talk about the body of Christ, we think of the passage from 1 Corinthians 12, the one that celebrates the diverse gifts of the members of the body of Christ. It’s a great passage because it highlights our need for difference and shows that we aren’t supposed to have all the same gifts.

That’s a great place to start.

But what does it mean to act as part of the body of Christ? This quote, traditionally ascribed to the 16th-century mystic Teresa of Avila, explains:

Christ has no body but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours
Yours are the eyes with which he looks
Compassion on this world.
Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good.
Yours are the hands, with which he blesses all the world...

To be a member of the body of Christ is to be a representative for Christ — to live and work in the world as Christ would, to be “the fullness of Christ.”

Caitlin Harper

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O God of tenderness,
You have entrusted me
And the whole church
To bear the fullness of Christ
To the whole world.
Fill me with your love for the world,
So that I may be
A faithful representative of Christ.

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Knowing that the God who has authority over the whole universe made you and loves you, how will you celebrate this week?

Caitlin Harper

Caitlin Harper is a graduate of Candler School of Theology at Emory University. She has just been approved as a provisional elder in the North Alabama Conference of the United Methodist Church. She currently lives in southeastern Pennsylvania on a small-scale organic farm.

Attitude of Christ

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