Sunday, June 22, 2008

The Body of Christ

I was honored to read this poem at the opening of the California/Nevada Annual Conference Session of the United Methodist Church on Wednesday, June 18.

A special thank you to my fellow readers: Burt Yin, incoming Conference Co-Lay Leader; Judy Newton, retired missionary to Japan; Rosa Washington Olson, lay woman involved in all aspects of Conference life; Debbie Dillon, local pastor who is moving to a new appointment after serving at Cone Community UMC; and our percussionist, Tarah Trueblood, Executive Director and Campus Minister, Wesley Foundation, University of California, Berkeley. Thank you everyone.

The Body of Christ

You are the face of God
You are the wrinkle of age
You are the gap-toothed smile of youth
You are the cleft of chin
You are the hook of nose
You are the dimple of smile
You are rose of blush

You are the eye looking for justice
You are the ear listening for love
You are the head bowed in prayer
You are the mouth singing praise
You are the voice proclaiming new life

You are the arms raised in thanksgiving
You are the hands wiping a fevered brow
You are the grasp of a newborn
You are the fingers frail with dying
You are the palms cupped with living water

You are the legs skipping in play
You are the knees bent in worship
You are the feet marching for peace
You are the toes balanced on rock
You stand barefoot before the creator

You are the lungs, breath of the holy
You are the heart beating eternal rhythm
You are the belly brimming with laughter
You are the womb cradling hope

You are the hips carrying our future
You are the back refusing to be broken
You are the shoulders carrying your cross

You are the glorious body in motion
You are the passionate body overflowing with emotion
You are the ever-curious body nourishing the intellect
You are the everlasting body sustaining the soul
You are the sacred body, a temple for the Most High

And I am you
And you are me
And together we are one body
Bearing one another’s fragility
Promoting one another’s healing
Sharing one another’s purpose

You and you and you and you and me
Together we are called to be
One mind, one spirit, one body
Offering our lives to the one who redeemed us

How we love this broken body
transformed by the Lord of Love
How we love this wondrous body
Baptized in the River of Life
How we love this precious body
A testimony to the living God
How we love this immortal body
A witness to the Alpha and Omega

The hands
The feet
The face

I am
You are
We shall be
unto this world
The Body of Christ

Permission is granted to reprint this poem by crediting the author, Cathy Warner.

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