Last Sunday while meeting with my church family God started unfolding this illustration in my head so I thought it best to write it down (you can be the judge of whether it was best!). Trying to find a graphic representation of the body of Christ in nature, God lead me to the watermelon. There are other fruits or vegetables that would work, but the thought of a "Living Water" melon fancies me, so...
Where to start? OK, let us look at the melon as a whole. Inside the melon there is the meat (red, yellow or orange) and the seeds. Surrounding the good part is a protective covering, or the rind, that keeps the good part good until it is cut open for consuming - keeps the dirt and the parasites out to preserve the purity of the fruit. Looking at the seeds, we find some mature and some still developing, but attached to all of them is something that looks like an umbilical cord that "daisy-chains" them together and feeds nutrients into the seeds, placing the DNA of the watermelon into each of them, so that when removed from the fruit and placed in the ground they can die and then burst open and a new watermelon plant springs forth to create more watermelons just like the original from the DNA blueprint inside of it. Each new melon that grows on that vine looks and tastes just like the fruit it came from and within the protective covering of each a new miracle occurs - more seeds are being formed that contain the same DNA as the melon they are in that it received from the melon it's seed came from and so on and so on. That part is basic botany.
So, where is Jesus and the church in this? Follow along with me on this. I think we see Jesus in the meat - the good part. He is the "living water" that satisfies our thirst, He is the sweetest part about any Christian’s existence. He is colorful or beautiful as He surrounds the seeds in which He is imparting His DNA through His Spirit that connects each seed to each other in Him. Now, the seeds are the Christians - the real ones. A Christian is one who is "connected", or rooted in Christ, receiving their life sustenance from Him and Him alone. The DNA of God Himself, that He placed within Mary at the immaculate conception to form the person of Jesus of Nazareth, that was passed on to Jesus in the flesh is fed into each Christian via the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, which will in eternity be matured to make us like Him. We are then "daisy-chained" to other believers via the Spirit to form the church. We, the seeds or Christians are "in Christ" and are covered and protected by God the Father, the all encompassing "rind" that holds us all together and keeps the dirt and parasites out so that we might develop into a healthy, mature fruit that will one day reproduce divine offspring.
I know. Kind of a fruity analogy, but it fits and if it should help someone get a grasp on exactly what the church is, how the Spirit connects all Christians who are, in fact, "in Christ" and how, the church in Christ is a refreshing, sweet, good thing then maybe you might allow me this illustration for now.
(If you don't know what a watermelon is or looks like, try google.com.)