Baptisms, Business Meetings, and Busted Knees

“You’re just not that well put together,” the doctor said as he examined my ankle. That was five years ago, a few days after I sprained my ankle. I had been playing volleyball on the grass, came down from an epic spike (that’s how I remember it anyway) and landed on some soft ground. My ankle swelled up, which earned me a trip to the E.R. and got me some new crutches. A few days later, in Petoskey, I went to a specialist who described my joints as “loose” and “sloshy” and expressed surprise that I wasn’t injured more often. Apparently, I’m just not put together well.

I’ve been injury free since… until last Thursday. I was playing Capture the Flag with a bunch of teenagers from my church, planted my foot hard as I attempted a spectacular Madden-worthy juke, at which point my knee just buckled out from under me. For a couple days I couldn’t put weight on it but, now, thankfully, I am on the road to recovery. No permanent damage, I hope.

This past Sunday was quite exciting at our church. During the worship service we had three baptisms, all adult women who wanted to express their faith in a public way before the church. After the worship service, when we normally have a time for discussion, we had our congregation wide business meeting. As per our tradition, every head of every ministry gave a report on his or her ministry. We’re not a big church but we have a lot of involvement from a lot of people so the annual business meeting is always looong, but in the best possible way. Everything we heard was pure gold.

Before the business meeting Pastor John read the following passage from Ephesians 4:

“11 So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.

14 Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. 15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. 16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.”

On Thursday and Friday I wasn’t able to put any weight on my knee because my supporting ligaments weren’t working. I am prone to injury because my joints are sloshy – because I’m just not that well put together.

But what I saw in our church on Sunday was strength and unity. As each person does his or her work the whole body becomes effective, strong, and mature. On occasions where there has been injury (and we are not immune from injury) it hurts the whole body. But, when we work together with unity of purpose and diversity of function, when we are united by those things we need to be united by (“one hope, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father”) the whole body rejoices. And, even at 12:30, when we are all late for our lunches and our kids were cranky, we were still rejoicing at the goodness and wisdom of God.

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