Have you ever thought about what the word “incorporated” means? We mostly hear it when referring to a certain class of businesses.
This is not the only way we use the word “Incorporated,” though. We also use it when something is joined to a body larger than itself. This can be mundane. Like saying “I incorporated this sentence into my paragraph.” Or we can use “incorporate” in a deep and profound way. One example that sticks with me is from the older (1928 and earlier) version of the post-communion prayer after the Eucharist. It had us say every Sunday, “we are very members incorporate in the mystical body of thy Son our Savior Jesus Christ.”
Friends, a necessary part of being a Christian is to be “Incorporated,” that is made part of Christ’s body. While it is a “mystical” body as the old prayer says, that does not mean it is only an idea. The body happens on Sunday. The body we are incorporated into is a real body that is greater than the sum of its parts. It is all of us together at church, saying the same words, confessing the same faith, and receiving the same bread and wine as Jesus commanded us to do.
I know that returning to church is a complex decision for many of us right now. I’m not asking anyone to “jump the gun” and do something that doesn’t seem wise for you and your family or fit with your other decisions about COVID-19 risk. I am saying whether now or at some later point being a body together, being “incorporated,” is a necessary part of following Jesus.
“Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread” (1st Corinthians 10.17).