George O'Reilly
George O’Reilly

In a passage often echoed in our own experience, a psalmist declares in considering his physical being: “I praise You, for I am awesomely, wonderfully made ….” — Psalm 139: 14 (TNK) We can readily identify even in our age of advancement in science and medicine at the almost unbelievable complexity and the mysterious functioning of the human body. Even as our apparent knowledge of the physical aspects of the average human person goes forward with rapidity, we realize with each new step of understanding the depths of intricacy in how it all works together in a relatively healthy individual. And as the Jewish Tanakh translation puts it, we may well be “awe-struck” as we consider such things.

As individuals, if we consider well our physical person, even if we do experience some period of ill health, we can be struck by how the body responds to move toward restored balance and vitality. Medicines can help, and procedures can be life-saving, but underneath it all the vibrancy and complexity of the body striving toward life can still amaze us as we move toward recovery.

If we were to consider the thoughts of Paul on the people of God bonded together by the Spirit as being the Body of Christ, would we also be awe-struck at the design and creativity of this living thing that the Spirit has made? Would we agree with Paul that each part is integral and indispensable? Would we echo Paul’s thought that every part and its peculiar functioning is worthy of honor?

Or could we become like self-important physicians and think “our cure is the answer, our procedure the ultimate remedy”— the one necessary thing that would bring health and wholeness to the Body of Christ so often threatened by various ailments and dysfunctions?

So much of the history of medicine shows helpful remedies taken to extremes. Even in our age the procedures undertaken to heal a patient can be a delicate balancing act between “curing the disease and killing the patient,” as we could see readily in the so-often necessary use of chemotherapy.

When you hear someone strongly arguing for some approach to “restoring the Body of Christ,” do you ever have a nagging feeling that they have forgotten what the Creator has done? Have you ever suspected that this or that prescription was actually an overdose of “justice, repentance, this cure or that” which might actuality threaten the health and life of the patient? Have you ever wondered if some of the remedies so strongly advocated among those contending for their particular emphasis in “Body medicine” might be out of balance when the organic functioning of the Body of Christ is taken into account?

When I hear especially competitive approaches to establishing the greatest “health” in the Body of Christ argue that their understanding alone will bring what is necessary for wholeness to return to the Body of Christ suffering in some apparent state of diminished health, I can wonder if a bit of humility from all sides might well be in order. Oh, I can see how this practitioner or that might personally be more satisfied and at peace if their approach “won the day.” But would this be a bit like our human body having various parts arguing that what they need be elevated to the primary need of each and every part and even of the body as a whole?

Do we believe that what God is about creating in His work in His people to be the Body of Christ is every bit as awesome and wonderful as any one mere human body? I admit, when I look around, sometimes I think, “Perhaps not!”

— Pastor George O’Reilly, Year of Covenant Facilitator