As you hear more godly believers speaking with grace, gentleness, and courtesy in members’ meetings, you are learning how Christians ought to express themselves. As you watch them interact with others in Bible studies, you see meekness, humility, and wisdom lived out in front of you rather than defined propositionally in a book. By their lives, we are stirred up to love the Lord and one another more; we have a greater desire for and understanding of the good works He calls us to.
I’m in the middle of reading The Body by Bill Bryson. It is both uplifting and tragic. Uplifting because every page is crammed full of detailed observations about just how fearfully and wonderfully made the human body is; tragic because Bryson, for all his rapturous marveling, cannot see the fingerprints of God on everything he is describing but instead attributes them to the blind “processes” of evolution.
One of the many wonders that Bryson sets forth so clearly is the miraculous way that the many and various parts of the body work together for the good of the whole. For example:
Our bodies are a universe of 37.2 trillion cells operating in more or less perfect concert more or less all the time. An ache, a twinge of indigestion, the odd bruise or pimple is about all that in the normal course of things announces our imperfectability.
This harmonious cooperation of many and varied parts is one of the pictures the Lord uses to describe what the church is and how it ought to function. Christians are joined to Christ, which means that we are all joined to one another as well. That brings many responsibilities and privileges as we go about “life together,” to borrow Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s phrase. It is summed up by Romans 12:5: “We, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.”