Thoughts on The Body of Christ – A sample page from Inextinguishable Blaze – and a Hymn

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The Body of Christ 

It’s hard not to be moved by the way in which people who have shared a devastating experience find themselves feeling closer to one another than they do to members of their families. After all only they know what they’ve been through. There is a bond which can never be dissolved. There is a great temptation to try to form such a bond between people. The longing after a sense of community in which we care for one another and no one is left out is, perhaps, one such symptom of this. And it is given expression in clubs, organizations, religious orders and trades unions. Not least is this seen in the Church. There is a hankering after that supposed ideal world, born out of hardship, that is pictured in Acts 2 where the believers held everything in common and there seemed to be a sense of harmonious agreement, however short-lived, between them.

John and Charles Wesley sought after something of this sort in the Holy Club in Oxford and afterwards in the Methodist Societies that they began to form. Here people could be open with one another and they were encouraged to build each other up, to think of each other’s needs.

At its best the Church is a body of people in which no-one is excluded and in which those things which humanly separate us are swept away by God’s love for us and our love for each other. Here ‘Names, and sects, and parties fall’ as women and men are bound more closely to each other in commitment and fellowship. Here is a vision of what the world could be.

Christ, from whom all blessings flow

1	Christ, from whom all blessings flow,
	Perfecting the saints below,
	Hear us, who thy nature share,
	Who thy mystic body are.

2	Join us, in one spirit join,
	Let us still receive of thine;
	Still for more on thee we call,
	Thou who fillest all in all.

3	Closer knit to thee, our Head,
	Nourished, Lord, by thee, and fed,
	Let us daily growth receive,
	More in Jesus Christ believe.

4	Never from thy service move,
	Needful to each other prove,
	Use the grace on each bestowed,
	Tempered by the art of God.

5	Love, like death, has all destroyed,
	Rendered all distinctions void;
	Names, and sects, and parties fall :
	Thou, O Christ, art all in all.
                                   Charles Wesley

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Published by

Andrew Pratt

Andrew Pratt was born in Paignton, Devon, England in 1948.

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