I never will forget the first Anglican service I attended, when someone looked me squarely in the eye, handed me the bread, and spoke these powerfully personal words: “This is the Body of Christ which was broken for you.”
I thought my legs were going to buckle.
But a whole body, not a broken one, was the trajectory of Jesus’ ministry. Even before he was broken, he envisioned his body restored, healthy, and whole, where his male and female image bearers—young and old, rich and poor, from every tongue and tribe and nation—coalesce into one healthy, vigorous, fully functioning, interdependent Body of Christ.
The brand of oneness Jesus restores among his male and female image bearers doesn’t depend on sameness—which is what most of us in the Body of Christ keep thinking and why oneness seems perpetually beyond our reach.
“The oneness God envisions doesn’t erase individuality, but actually benefits from and is enriched by their differences. But the oneness for which they are created doesn’t leave God out; rather, it finds its center in him. What unleashes the kingdom potency and the enormous good of this male/female oneness is when, like an astronomical syzygy where gravity pulls three celestial bodies into a straight line, the two of them align with God.—Half the Church
Jesus’ body was broken to end hostility, division, estrangement, injustice, and violence within the human race. His body is not supposed to remain broken, but to be restored—interconnected into an other-worldly oneness that captures the world’s attention leaves them marveling, “See how they love one another!”
Jesus’ body was broken so that his body might be made whole and that the world might know he has come. That was his prayer for us—
“that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.”—John 17:21