Lost and Found

August 8, 2005 at 9:28 pm (Church)

Calvin and I went to a baptism service at our church yesterday. I say, “went to,” because it was at the Associate Pastor’s house, in his pool, followed by a cookout. Normally, they hold them at the church building, in the baptismal. It was nothing new to me; my parents’ church didn’t have a baptismal, so we always had them at a member’s pool or in the river or some such.

At any rate, first, I have to mention, that the Senior Pastor baptized someone by pouring! I was thrilled. It was an older lady not in the best of health, but she managed to get into the pool, and he did pouring for her! I thought that was awesome. Not because I don’t believe in dunking, of course; that seems to be the example set forth in Scripture to me, but many people think it’s all heretical to pour or sprinkle. I just thought it was cool that our church (well, at least the pastor) is open to that in unique situations. But, that wasn’t the reason I wrote this post, but it was related so I thought I’d mention it, since I’ve never seen someone baptized by pouring before.

I digress. It was when things seemed to be going better that I signed up saying we would go to this cookout/baptism, and I have to admit, come yesterday morning, I looked rather darkly upon the whole event. Anything that is related to “fellowship” nowdays conjures images of the picture on the front of my album that I’m one day going to cut: a church auditorium filled with people smiling and talking to each other, while every single one of them holds a knife behind their back. I was quite proud of that one, and quite sure that my parents wouldn’t like it, which meant that it was sufficiently dark for my needs.

At any rate, again, I digress. I pondered not going, but decided that being present and supportive of, whether I like it or not, my family in Christ at baptisms was more important than my current emotional rollercoaster. So, I was sitting there, munching on my potato chips and hamburger, and watching people, as I am inclined to do often. And I was thinking about my other recent blog entry, and all the horrible things I said about Christians and my church, and testing myself to see if I really saw death and decay in everyone I looked at. And then, suddenly, another part of my entry struck me: where I had said that I had lost the body of Christ. And as I looked around, I realized, though the thought only came kicking and screaming, that I hadn’t lost the body of Christ at all. It was there, all around me, talking, laughing, swimming, eating…

Yes, take it or leave it, there it was. Is it what it is supposed to be? No. But what else is there? Even in Israel’s darkest day, they were still God’s people. In fact, it was precisely because that they were his people that he judged them so. No…I realized, that not acting like the body of Christ does not mean that it isn’t the body of Christ…at least, as far as it is not for me to judge. Whether I like it or not, those people make up the body of Christ, and I have to be a part of them, no matter how hard and how painful it is at times.

I’m not sure that this revelation is very comforting – in a way, it is worse – now that I’ve found it, the situation looks even bleaker. What hope is there of change? Now there’s not even the hope that maybe I’ll find the real body of Christ somewhere…no, I’ve found it…and it’s presence doesn’t comfort me much. Perhaps there is no hope of change in this lifetime. But, in the end…Christ is coming back…and he’ll make it okay.

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1 Comment

  1. Jessica said,

    Oh Mandy! That lost body needs to hear this message…. if not from a pulpit at a conference then from an article in a magazine, at least. You are wonderful, and I think we had wonderful “fellowship” tonight. I enjoy your truth and wisdom. You have such big insight.

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