NOPE! This is not the popular Casting Crowns song that first came to your mind. That “darn catchy tune” as one child once said is entitled, “If We Are The Body.” That song is presented as a challenge to children of God, the family of God, and the body of Christ. It is a look at our world of physical and spiritual poverty and a cry to the church to be what Christ has won and the Father has chosen her to be. Wonderful song. Wonderful challenge and message. It is the type of song that has you nodding your head in agreement or shaking your head in frustration with your congregation, yourself, and the Church as a whole. But that is not the song I am speaking of today.
The song that I am pulling out of my own personal hymnal, that is starting to fill up, is entitled, “We Are The Body.” No questions. No challenges. Just facts. Just truth. Challenges turn into expectations. The song begins with truthful and awesome affirmations. I love the “We are” lyrics found throughout this song. It evokes feelings of adoration of King Jesus who has called us to Him and feelings of awe in the presence of the Father who chose us to be “the body of the Most High” and “the bride of a Savior.” To be honest, I listen to this song every morning. It is the first song I listen to each day and I listen to it more than any other song. To me, it is a song that fills me with joy as I ponder the glory of God. There are a few lyrics hidden in this song that nearly bring me to my knees. I get weak and feel humbled by listening to the congregation at The Church at Brook Hills led by Mandi Mapes sing this song. I shout praises with my brothers and sisters in Christ daily. The next two lines which close the first stanza are, as mentioned above, those humbling and praise producing lyrics:
“And we fall for the King of the kingdom
As we sing the songs of salvation”
My heart leaps! I shout for joy! Yes, may we daily “fall for the King” and sing joyfully “the songs of salvation” to the broken and fallen.
This next stanza transitions the song from recognizing and affirming who we are as the body of Christ to exclaiming what we as the body of Christ are to do. This is not simply a question posed as, “Why are we not doing this or that?” It is more of an affirmation of what the body of Christ does. The feeling I get is, “We are the body and this is what we are doing!” “And we stand for those who cannot stand for themselves.” Amen! My soul and mind race to the meek in our world and those who are oppressed without a voice. Most of these meek and voiceless people are in areas where there is little to no access to the gospel, so our stand is doubly vital. Oh, this next lyric: “And we love the loveless.” Yes! This can be interpreted as either loving those who are not loved by anyone else in their life or as loving those who seemingly have no love in them. As the body of Christ, we love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us (Matthew 5:44-45), yes! Not only that, but we as the body of Christ goes where the gospel has not been preached and the name of Christ and glory of God has not be made known. “And we go where Your light’s not shining.” Oh, to have this Pauline ambition! “Thus I make it my ambition to preach the gospel, not where Christ has already been named” (Romans 15:20). What joy and glory! We as the body go into the darkest places of earth and joyfully bring good news of the kingdom for the glory of God and salvation of souls.
This soft song of praise builds at this point as it prepares to climax in the subsequent stanza. While we go into the dark to bring the light of Christ, “we stand like a city on a hilltop.” Amen! The following lyric takes me back to Paul writing to the Galatians when he writes to them under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, “But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world” (Galatians 6:14). I ponder this truth as I sing “We boast in the Spirit living in us.” What a biblically sound and Scripture-saturated song this truly is! Our life lived in this world as strangers as we die to ourselves daily is rejoiced in the next lyric for truly, “We march on a road leading to freedom.” My heart floods with feelings of joy and anticipation as this narrow road we follow is difficult with few brothers and sisters to travel with, but we have an eternal, sovereign, and elected promise of freedom waiting us at the end. Praise be to God! This stanza closes with the truthful works that accompany the body of Christ “As we reach out our hands to the fallen.” The climax is approaching and the most beloved lyrics I have ever heard in a modern worship song are begging for time to pass so they can be exalted in song.
Any rambling I give to these lyrics will only hinder their precious purpose in lifting your heart and soul. Church, understand who we are and who the Father chose us to be and what Jesus Christ commands us to do. Faith and works. Spiritual and physical. There should never be a dilemma over whether the local church should be meeting physical or spiritual needs. How ridiculous and strikingly un-biblical this line of thinking is! We meet both the physical and the spiritual needs of those in our community and to the ends of the earth. (Note the emphasis on certain words in the previous sentence) Enjoy these closing stanzas and be gripped by their meaning and purpose. Rejoice by singing this song as I will include a link to it below. The difference between the body of Christ and humane societies, social programs, or charities is that we bring living water to the thirsty. We live for the One who was and is and is to come! Because of our submission to the One True Lord of heaven and earth, our lives count for something greater than ourselves. Eternity is in the balance for countless lives as we stand at Niagara Falls with an endless supply of living water. With this eternal, never-ceasing supply, the implication is simple: 2 billion souls. Amen! 2 billion without the gospel. We will go to every tribe and tongue to preach the gospel of Christ, the soul-quenching and thirst-satisfying eternal salvation and joy. And one day, we will stand with our brothers and sisters from every people group shouting praises to our great King, LORD, Master, and God! Here is our motivation:
“And our anthem will be a song of praise to the King
‘He is worthy, He is worthy’
With one voice we will sing, ‘Where oh death is your sting’
He is mighty, He is mighty”
Amen! Glory to God, our great Victor, Savior King!
We Are The Body (by Mandi Mapes)
We are the body of the most High We are the bride of a Savior And we fall for the King of the kingdom As we sing the songs of salvation And we stand for those who cannot stand for themselves And we love the loveless And we go where Your light’s not shining We are the body of Christ We shine like a city on a hilltop We boast in the Spirit living in us And we march on a road leading to freedom As we reach out our hands to the fallen And we bring living water to the thirsty and We live for the One who was and is and is to come So our life counts for something greater than ourselves We are the body of Christ And our anthem will be a song of praise to the King “He is worthy, He is worthy” With one voice we will sing, “Where oh death is your sting” He is mighty, He is mighty
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By His Grace — For His Glory — For our Joy