Unlimited: Mutual Belonging
Jul 11, 2023 212
and each member belongs to all the others (Romans 12:5b).
In our modern society we claim to value individual freedom above all. We claim to be free to think, speak and act as each one of us wish.
Yet the apostle here challenges us with a radical thought: within the body of Christ, each one of us belongs to all the others. What is the logic here? Through the Cross, Christ has redeemed all of humanity through his blood. To “redeem” means to purchase, as one would purchase a slave to set them free. All those who accept the gift of redemption therefore belong to Christ. While it is a free gift, we owe Jesus a debt of gratitude and love. He tells us that when we show love to another, we are showing love to him (Matt. 25:45). We show our love and gratitude to Jesus by showing these to others. We are all connected through the blood of Christ, through which he has created a new humanity bound by ties that are stronger than mere genetics.
Within the body of Christ, each one of us belongs to all the others.
This reminds us of Donne’s Meditation 17, written in 1623, in which he famously wrote these lines:
No man is an island,
entire of itself…
Any man’s death diminishes me,
Because I am involved in mankind;
And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls;
It tolls for thee.
The thought that we belong to one another is a challenging one. It’s all too easy for us to focus inwardly more and more and just simply not see the need to reach out to others. If you are struggling with any aspect of your life, reach out to someone today. If you aren’t, reach out to someone who you know is.