Being the Body of Christ

By The Reverend Canon Dr. William J. Danaher, Jr., Rector

This past Monday, I stopped for a moment to say the follow prayer assigned to Labor Day: Almighty God, you have so linked our lives one with another that all we do affects, for good or ill, all other lives: So guide us in the work we do, that we may do it not for self alone, but for the common good; and, as we seek a proper return for our own labor, make us mindful of the rightful aspirations of other workers, and arouse our concern for those who are out of work; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Animating this prayer is Paul’s famous analogy in 1 Corinthians of the Christian community as the Body of Christ — “God has so arranged the body, giving the greater honor to the inferior member, that there may be no dissension within the body, but the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together with it; if one member is honored, all rejoice together with it”(12:24-26).

Wiser generations than ours saw operating in Paul’s analogy not only a way for the church to be truly the church, but a way to walk faithfully in the wider world — particularly when it comes to the relationship between employers and employees. The connectedness celebrated in this prayer are a reminder of the interdependence and trust that makes life possible. God has made us in such a way that we need each other in order to be fully who God has called us to be. Whether economic or ecclesial, communities need to recognize this interdependence if they are to flourish.

This program year, we are celebrating the 90th Anniversary of the founding of Christ Church Cranbrook. As many of know, this parish was built in 1926 because of an astonishing gift by George and Ellen Booth, which enabled the sanctuary to be built as a single project. However, standing behind this supreme act of generosity was our founding patrons’ recognition that they lived in relations of interdependence and trust. This is evident in the motto that inspired their philanthropy: “The only way to have is to give, the only way to keep is to share, and the only thing worth finding is opportunity.”
As a way to honor our 90th anniversary, we are focusing on this theme of being the body of Christ. Our Stewardship material highlights all the ways that we have been the body of Christ inside and outside our church. Our adult education programs will invite us all to go deeper in our faith so that we can know the profound blessings that come to us because we are joined together in Christ. Finally, throughout the program year, we will offer incredible opportunities for worship, fellowship, and mission so that we can, together, carry on our founding legacy of meeting Jesus, finding Joy, sharing Beauty, and serving Others.