Posted by George Morrison

The effect of a church calendar is to bring into prominence certain events of a religious nature on an annual basis. Tomorrow, the feast of the body of Christ will be celebrated in many places throughout the land. In some countries much festivity attends the procession which always has as its focal point the Eucharist. This is said to represents the presence of Christ in the form of the blessed sacrament being carried through the community. The feast goes back to the 13th Century when it was attested to by miracle and so entered the church calendar. It may come as a surprise to learn that the Bible is distrustful of holy objects even ones that have been a blessing to God’s people. The only case it records was in Moses time when a bronze snake fastened to a pole (a symbol adopted today by the medical profession to denote healing) healed all those who looked to it in faith from the blood-poisoning caused by a plague of snakes. This pole was carried around for a few hundred years until the reign of Hezekiah. By this time it had become a snare to the people who were burning incense to it and the king, who had been removing the idols in the land, had it smashed to pieces. Jesus referred to the pole in his talk to Nicodemus which St John records in chapter 3 of his gospel. There Jesus does not attribute any miraculous powers to the pole but to the faith of the sick people. As they looked in obedience to the wooden pole and believed they were healed. Jesus told Nicodemus that a similar belief in himself could cure everyone from the blood poisoning of sin. More particularly this belief was to be directed to Jesus on the cross where as the bearer of sin he offers them eternal life. Jesus’s body is now in heaven but the Holy Spirit is present in every believer ministering the forgiveness and love to others that they have received from him. Christ’s body on earth now consists of assemblies of believers who bring the good news of a new life in Jesus to others as they live it out daily in their own lives.