Scripture Reading: Ephesians 1:15-23
God put this power to work in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the age to come. And he has put all things under his feet and has made him the head over all things for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all. — Ephesians 1:20-23
What is this thing we call church anyway? I’ll bet if you polled the general public in the USA most would respond that the church was a type of building. They might add that it is used for religious purposes like temples and mosques. Others might say an organization, a group of people with a common cause. The word translated “church” in our scripture today comes from the Greek ekklesia that literally means to call out from or to. It is properly, people called out from the world and to God, the outcome being the Church (the mystical body of Christ) * Thus, church actually has nothing to do with a particular building, although it is helpful to have a place to meet. Even though great effort has been made to bring those called out to serve God together, I do not in any sense of the word think anyone would describe it as organized.
An endangered African Wild Dog at the Oklahoma City Zoo recently gave birth to a litter of three pups that she promptly rejected. The zoo sent out a call for a surrogate mother. A family with a nursing golden retriever came to the rescue. What a wonderful example of the interdependence of all God’s creatures on the earth. The church is that golden retriever called to nourish the world with God’s love.
Why do you suppose God created such a diverse assortment of beings to populate the earth and then God expects us to live in harmony and peace even in the midst of our differences? I think the only way it will work is, if God’s way of being, loving God and loving our neighbors for example, are followed. And it will never work until God’s way of being is the way we live throughout the earth.
Prayer: God of all Creatures, bless us with your nourishment so that we may become nourishing too. Amen.
All scriptures are quoted from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright 1989, 1995, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of American. Used by permission. All rights reserved.