“Christ has no body now but yours. No hands, no feet on earth but yours. Yours are the eyes through which he looks compassion on this world. Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good. Yours are the hands through which he blesses all the world. Yours are the hands, yours are the feet, yours are the eyes, you are his body. Christ has no body now on earth but yours.”
This quote might have been new to some of us at the beginning of the week. But we’ve been acting as the Body of Christ our whole lives, whether we knew it or not. I feel safe to say that each person here regularly uses their eyes, hands, feet, and body to proclaim the Good News of God’s Love.
I wonder if some of you might be willing to share ways in which you act as the body of Christ every day, or every week, even every once in a while. How are you the eyes, hands, feet, or body of Christ? I am sure we could sit here all day and list out ways in which we continually seek to serve Christ in one another. Here’s the challenge: in every moment and in every choice, we make there is an opportunity for us to be Christ’s presence in the world. It is up to us to say yes to the call, to choose to act out of love. This love is part of our nature because we were made in the image of the God of love.
You were made in the image of God. You were made to love. This is important. In the words of Thomas Merton: “To say that I am made in the image of God is to say that love is the reason for my existence, for God is love. Love is my true identity. Selflessness is my true self. Love is my true character. Love is my name.”
When we accept this as truth it changes our lives. When we do everything out of love – beautiful things happen. Our relationships are healed and restored, they become whole. Our communities are healed and restored, they become whole. If we all acted out of love all of the time, the whole world would be healed and restore, all of creation would be whole.
In our Gospel this morning we hear the great commandments: “Love the Lord your God with all your soul and with all your mind.” And: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” From this we learn the most important thing we can do is love. We are called to do so freely and unconditionally.
During the Eucharist, we sometimes use these words: Though we are many we are one body because we all share one bread and one cup. Look to your left, look to your right. The people sitting around you are deeply and inextricably connected to you. What you do or do not do affects other people in your community in ways we cannot even begin to imagine. As we heard in our reading from Paul’s letter to the Corinthians this morning: “…God has put the body together…so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.” Let us go forth from camp today and treat each person we meet with love, as indispensable, as made in the image of God, may we say to each other “I need you.”
We don’t have to be all things to all people. You don’t have to try to be the foot and the hand and the eye and the ear all of the time. We all have God given gifts. Sometimes we are called to be the eyes to notice where the world around us needs healing. Sometimes we are the feet and are called to go to where our gifts can be put to use. Sometimes we are a listening ear or a helping hand or a mouth speaking the truth in love. Yet, this is always true: “Christ has no body now on earth but yours.” You will always be the body, so go forth and live in love.