Gleanings – You Are Weird, John. Why Thank You!

Ephesians 3:1-13

“This was according to the eternal purpose which he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have boldness and confidence of access through our faith in him. So I ask you not to lose heart over what I am suffering for you, which is your glory.”

Paul is suffering, literally. He experiences everything from the ordinary, sleepless nights, to the extraordinary, floggings, shipwreck, and eventually chains. It would be tempting for us to observe his demise and give up hope. Paul cannot have that. He understands fully the role of the church in the world, to make manifest “the manifold wisdom of God.”

One might look at the state of the church today and give up hope. Of course it would be for much different reasons. It would be from the absence of those like Paul, those willing to suffer for the welfare of the Body. It would be from the presence of those who do not zealously guard sheep and seem more interested in perpetuating their role or the church or both.

Being in the trade I know that half the nation’s 350,000 churches are slated to close by 2020. I know that people file out at a much faster rate than they file into the church.

The more the church looks like the culture, the more people flee. It is in our distinction that we achieve. We the need the same hope Paul commends but we also need to re-appropriate his vision of church. We are the called out people of God meant to reveal by witness the manifold wisdom of God. We show the world by our manner of life a way of being human together that trumps the barbaric methods of the principalities and powers.

Churches are routinely built on the homogeneous unit principle. In and of itself, the HUP is inconsistent with the manifold wisdom of God. We bond together over a shared faith in Jesus. At our core we are different in that the Holy Spirit binds us together across every category created by man, gender, race, socioeconomic, free or slave. With that distinctive, the church as a called out people of God will flourish. Without it we labor in vain and build organizations that scarcely resemble the manifold wisdom of God.

One Response to “Gleanings – You Are Weird, John. Why Thank You!”

  • Robert Says:

    I know an industry who’s industry is shrinking – Golf. If folks aren’t at the course or at church on Sunday mornings. What’s everyone doing these days?? There’s an evangalism opportunity…somewhere

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