We know that we, as the church, are the Body of Christ and He is our Head. But, as Americans, we too often think of headship in terms of authority. Christ is our Leader, we are His followers. Christ is the Commander in Chief, we are soldiers in His army. Christ is Master, we are His servants. All this is true, but we are missing so much if we think of headship only in this way.
Scripture doesn't use these sorts of analogies. Instead, God inspired simple, clear words that even the simple among us could begin to glimpse the profound mystery. Christ is the Head and the Church is the Body. We are inseparable. We are one. We enjoy a sort of unity that is mysterious and profound.
When Saul was confronted by Jesus on the road to Damascus, Jesus did not say, "Saul, why are you persecuting my followers?" He did not say, "Saul, why are you persecuting the people under my command?" He said, "Saul, why do you persecute Me?"
When someone hits us, we say, "Don't hit me!" We don't say, "Do not hit the arm under my command." We feel hit; we feel pain. We do not sense ourselves as separate from our bodies.
When we persecute the Body of Christ, we persecute Christ. When we tear down the Body of Christ, we do this to Christ as well. He has chosen to be united with His church, to be the Head of the Body.
I'm a preacher's kid. I've seen the dark underbelly of the church. I have the battle scars to prove that we as Christians shoot our wounded. I've fired more than a few rounds myself. I have good reason to be wary of fellow Christians, to be reluctant to fully commit myself to a local expression of the Body of Christ. My problem is not with Jesus; it's with some of His followers.
Or so I tell myself.
The sad truth is that I do not love the Body of Christ as I should. And there is only one possible explanation for this coldness in my heart. It is because I do not have enough love for the Head. God forgive me.
May I love Jesus more. May I love all of Him, with all of my heart, mind, soul, strength. May I love Him passionately and zealously. May I love Him with a broken and contrite heart. May I love Him in purity and holiness. And then I will love His Body as I should.