If you have spent any length of time in church, you have undoubtedly heard this phrase. If you are like me, you didn't quite understand what that meant. I still don't fully understand what it means, but I have been blessed recently with some insights from multiple sources, and have witnessed it in action.
A few months back I was in the church lobby during a service catching up with a friend. All of the sudden I heard yelling and weeping on the other side of the building. I heard a woman's voice say "My head" over and over again. I cringed. Yes, I cringed. I don't do well in these types of situations. I hate hearing or seeing people in pain. However, I knew that it wasn't the right thing to do to just sit there, so I got up and started walking towards the commotion. That's when I saw two women, one my wife, tending to the woman. A nurse that attends recognized her and told us that she suffers from schizophrenia. My wife and our friend took the woman to the fellowship hall and sat with her while they waited for help.
I thought initially that the woman had suffered a head injury, but that wasn't the case at all. She said she felt as if people were stabbing her in the head. As I stated earlier, I cringed, and I didn't know what to say to this woman. I didn't need to. While I cringed, my wife and our friend (Keyshana) went into action naturally. They comforted the woman and spoke tenderly to her. It wasn't forced or fake. They weren't looking around to see when oh when would help arrive. There aren't many times I can recall that I've been prouder of my wife.
There in lies part of the beauty of the body of Christ. While I felt out of place, they were eyes that were seeing, ears that were hearing. It's not uncommon for people to look at the world around them and be overwhelmed. There is so much need that one person can't possibly meet them all. The good news is that one person doesn't have to, and yet, if you are in Christ, you are an indispensable part of his work on this earth.
In Genesis man is said to be made in the image of God. I believe this was to contrast the practice of idol worship. In the ancient world people would form idols with wood or stone and overlay it with gold or other adornments. Contrary to popular belief, they did not think that this was an actual god. Instead, they believe that it was a representation of a particular god on the earth. The idol was it's image bearer. These idols, made with human hands, were dead stones. Humans, not made with human hands, are living stones.
Jesus is building his church, making a temple for the presence of God to dwell, and he is doing this with living stones. What I witnessed that Sunday morning was part of it's formation. I saw two living stones, representatives of our Lord Jesus Christ, holding the hand of a hurting woman, and speaking tender, loving words to her.
When the body of Christ gathers, participates and function in their giftings given by the Holy Spirit, it reveals the Lord Jesus. Imagine the multitude of faces you might see on a busy street. It would take you multiple lifetimes to get to know each one of them intimately. By comparison, John's vision in Revelation reveals a multitude too large to number. We can't even begin to understand the infinite depth and beauty of our Lord Jesus. It will take an eternity.