Christ's Hidden Body
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2. Christ's Hidden Body


Wrinkles in SkinBecause we all have a human body, God wisely designed Christ's hidden body to enable every human being to understand it completely. Though effectively hidden like a sacrament, the Body of Christ is the ideal vehicle of faith. She is genuinely mysterious and mystical! Hidden bodies of Christ are as varied as human bodies. When we glance in the mirror, we are amazed at what the Creator God plans for our human body. All mystical bodies are not the same. Our frames vary in complexion, size, weight, and personal characteristics. Some may be large, and others are small or thin. A few are very tall, and others are short. Our skin may be black, brown, pink, or yellow, or something in between. Some are old, others middle-aged or young.

Unique Characteristics

Like human bodies, each hidden Mystical Body of Christ is unique and bears different characteristics and behavior patterns. As much as we would like to, we cannot say, "Aha, here is the perfect Body of Christ!" Like every other human organism, the hidden Body of Christ is continually changing in form and appearance. She develops as she ages and grows in character. Tell-tale signs take place due to this process. In human aging, wrinkles appear on the skin, and the hair grays. So the hidden body of Christ ages and develops. In the invisible body of Christ, changes are continually happening too. As no two photographs of a person are ever entirely identical, Christ's hidden body is never the same. She is always developing, regrouping, and blossoming. As a part of the mystical body dies, God grafts in another part to takes over that role. It is a great mystery!

Hidden Mystical Body

Sacramental SymbolsThe hidden Mystical Body of Christ is free of the trappings that surround it. It is essentially sacramental. Many of us do not stop and think about the amazing body we live within as human beings. Saint Augustine (354-430 AD), the early Christian theologian and philosopher, wrote, "Men go abroad to wonder at the height of mountains, at the huge waves of the sea, at the long courses of the rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motion of the stars; and they pass by themselves without wondering." Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1726 AD), an eminent scientist and mathematician, adds poignantly, "In the absence of any other proof, the thumb alone would convince me of God's existence." The hidden Mystical Body within the Church is sacramental. It has an outward visible form and an invisible inner power that drives it like the Creation's outward visible form and the Creator God's unseen inner strength. The mystical Body of Christ usually hides its sacramental nature. Beneath the white bread and the red wine at the Eucharistic table also lies Christ's hidden and mystical body and blood! Under the Church's corporate structures are hidden the similar deeper realities of the real mystical body of Christ.

Concealed Trappings

Exalting HolinessFrequently, the trappings that surround it hide real Christianity. Many of us do not recognize the Mystical Body of Christ that lies within. The Body of Christ is the institutional church's hidden source of power. A small boy waited patiently with his mother by the roadside for the Queen to pass on a royal visit. Finally, the great moment came, and the motorcade drove by with the monarch smiling and waving. Afterward, his mother asked, "Did you see the Queen?" The child replied, "Wow, what a lovely car!" He had failed to see the important person hidden within because of the shiny car that held her!

Hidden by the Institution

Similarly, we often fail to see the Mystical Body of Christ because the institutional church hides her! Though often hidden from view, Christ's body is the spiritual core of the Christian's individual life. The Mystical Body's visible outer shell often deceives us as to the complex nature hidden inside. We struggle to understand how God plants Christ's body within an individual like a hidden spark when Jesus became that person's Lord and Savior.

Transforming Attitudes

ChaliceWe know it is genuine by the transformation of a person's attitude and life, but we fail to appreciate the fantastic and complex work of God's Holy Spirit within. The agent, the God-essence that does the transforming, is hidden beneath the skin, deep within the persona, quietly enlightening the heart and the mind. At Holy Communion, the sacramental bread and wine similarly disguise Christ's body and blood in a way we cannot comprehend. The Body of Christ, like all bodies, is made up of many individual parts. There are the limbs, organs, and members that, when assembled, make up the entire body. Saint Paul expressed this truth in 1 Corinthians 12.12-14, "Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit to form one body - whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free - and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. Even so, the body is not made up of one part but of many." Across the globe, invisible ties bind together Christians of all nations, colors, tribes, and languages in the "Body of Christ Worldwide." In Heaven, beyond the furthermost aspect of the created universe, the triumphal no-longer-seen and hidden Universal Body worship in unnumbered waves around the glistening throne of God.

"Christ's Hidden Body"
by Ron Meacock © 2020

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