St Andrew Lutheran Church
4420 Center Point Rd NE
Cedar Rapids, IA 52402
(319) 393-4021
www.standrewlutheran.org

 

Missing Pieces

“If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off….  And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off….  And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out.  For it is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell….” – Mark 9:43:47

I am really not the most organized person, which is strange if you would have met my mother.  “A place for everything (literally), and everything in its place [with a label]” was the creed she lived by.  For me, there is always a “startup cost” to any project.  You know what I mean; the time spent searching several possible locations for the right tool or special attachment.  Organizational hindsight is always 20/20, but it is seldom considered during the project’s (boring) cleanup phase!

And, if you are like me, that reading from the Gospel of Mark can leave you squeamish enough to say, “Okay!  Alright!  I get it so let’s move on.”  Well, I’d like to pause for a second to disarm (pun intended) this somewhat gruesome and graphic image.  To do so, let me cite another portion of scripture:

“Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.” – Romans12:4:5

Thinking back to my projects, while I could have attempted to tackle them without the special tools, the project would probably have been more difficult, more time-consuming, and perhaps even resulted in poorer quality.  If a blade has become dull over time, I really should not continue to use it.  But instead of tossing it away to buy a new one, maybe I should try to sharpen it first.  Or perhaps a bearing just needs some new grease.

It is the same way with the Church.  Members are human and therefore imperfect, but each one has a role to fill in our mission as Christ’s body in the world.  And the more members we have focused on this mission, the more efficient and effective we become.  If a member becomes less active and begins to distance themselves from the church, perhaps we should seek them out instead of waiting for someone new to fill their space.

I wonder if that explains why the gospel reading for Sunday is paired with the following from the Book of James:

“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed….  [My brothers], if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring them back, remember this:  Whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death and cover over a multitude of sins.” – James 5:16a, 19-20

I am not implying our job is to “save” these people.  Christ has already done that.  It just seems to indicate to me that “dismemberment” (a play on words) should not be done in haste and only as the course of last resort.  Look around.  Do you see any “missing pieces”?


One with you in Christ!
David Krueger
Worship Times
Holy Communion
  Saturday 5:30 pm
  Sunday 9:30 am
 
Christian Education
  Youth 10:45 am  
  Adult 10:45 am
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