A Church with Parkinson’s

October 30, 2018

Good Morning Fellow Travelers,

Read: Ephesians 4:1-16

“For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.” I Corinthians 12:12

Parkinson’s disease is ravaging. It causes the neurotransmitters to die in the human brain. These transmitters are called “dopamine”, and they are cells that communicate the brain’s wishes to the rest of the body. As these cells die in the brain, the communication breaks down, and the body does not respond properly to mental commands. People with Parkinson’s face much frustration as the disease progresses. The body no longer obeys the head.

The analogy that the scriptures draw between the physical body and the body of Christ helps us to understand how the church works. Both function under their head. The head on a healthy body works as Christ does to guide and nurture the whole body through every member. There is beautiful harmony and wonderful symmetry. A carpenter grasps his hammer in his strong hand and drives each nail with perfectly aimed blows. Every muscle works with all the others under the brain’s command.

Did you know churches can have Parkinson’s symptoms as well? This becomes evident when members stop obeying the commands of their head, Jesus Christ. The knees become feeble and feet are no longer shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace. A hand goes off on a tangent to the left, and a foot kicks spasmodically to the right. Members oppose one another. The face sags and loses its beauty. The world notices and asks, “What is wrong with God’s beautiful church? Why is it staggering and flailing about?”

Churches do not need to have Parkinson’s. All members can be fine-tuned to the head, which is Christ. All can be animated with spiritual fervor. Though the gifts of the members are diverse, all can have a united focus. All can know that they need one another, and that they benefit from the spiritual health of the other members. All can be full of life, vitality, and vigor. All can be fitly joined and working effectually. Ponder Ephesians 4:15 and 16. Communication is open and free. The Spirit transmitters are up and working and, praise God, the Head will never lose His transmitters.

– James Baer