march 27, 2014

 

Today the WBU Campus Leadership Conference is wrapping up their spring meeting in the Brown Family Conference Center on the Plainview campus. It is always encouraging to see University Administration, External Campus Directors, School Deans, and Support Staff come together to address the opportunities and challenges of the Wayland Baptist University system. We forget sometimes just how big a body Wayland is as the day-to-day tasks consume our time.

While based in Plainview, TX, Wayland has campuses in Anchorage and Fairbanks (AK); Phoenix and Sierra Vista (AZ); Mililani (HI); Albuquerque and Clovis (NM); Altus (OK); Amarillo, Lubbock, San Antonio, and Wichita Falls (TX); Kijabe (Kenya); 50+ teaching and testing sites; and a growing online presence. Wayland is a large university system with over 6,000 students scattered world-wide. Indeed, WBU is could be called a body with each campus/school/office working for the whole. You are a part of the WBU body if you are a student, parent, alum, employee, trustee, donor, or friend. Wayland values each of you.

Paul used the metaphor of “body” to speak to believers regarding their relationship to one another. In his letter to the church at Corinth he writes,
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 so as 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. Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. (1 Corinthians 12:12-27)

As believers we are part of the larger body of Christ. We need each other to accomplish God’s purposes in our lives. While one might be alone in his/her personal life, the connection to the body of believers provides help, hope, healing, health, and heart to complete the work God has given. Paul pleads with the church at Ephesus to recognize the unity they have in Christ as they work together as a body,
As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it. (Ephesians 4:1-7)

If you are not a part of the body of Christ I urge you to give your life to Jesus today. He came for you to have forgiveness and a growing relationship with God and others.
If you are already a part of the body of Christ I urge you to hear again the Paul’s words to the Ephesians as we celebrate and serve together at WBU.

Blessings,

Micheal Summers
Director of Church Services / Assistant Professor of Religion / Assistant Director of Ministry Guidance