In the book of judges, a woman is raped and abused all night. She is unmoving the next day. The man who she was the concubine to cuts her up and sends a piece of her to each of the twelve tribes of Israel.
I wonder if there is any message or meaning about the church in all this.
We are told that the church is the bride of Christ. Yet I think we so often act like Christ’s concubine… not willing to commit, truly and deeply. We settle for so much less than we could have. And we end up like the concubine in the story, abused, forsaken.
Scripture also says that we believers are like a system of organs and body parts. We are useless with out each other just as an eye is useless with out a brain, or a hand is useless with out an arm to support it.
It’s an incredibly vivid (and gross!) way to make this point, to physically cut a body up and demonstrate the importance of interconnection. Ironically, these cut up body parts end up leading to a sort-of civil war. If the point was unity this point was missed.
(I don’t know that the man was looking for unity. I do think it’s possible, though, that the reason that the story is in the scriptures is for us to recognize the importance of unity with other followers of Christ.)