University Challenge is a competitive quiz on British TV, it sets University against University in question after question to filter though academic grasp. The quiz master announces at the beginning of every question set, the competitions format is a question is asked which when answered correctly opens up another 3 or 4 questions for the winning team, and only they that win the first question have the right to gain these points. This first question therefore serves as a gateway question to the further set of questions. The first question, the gate way question is always preceded with “This is your starter for 10 (points)”, just in the same way here is your ‘here is a starter for …” well the ecclesia, the church this is just a starter, how could we answer “what is it” as the ecclesia is such a major expression, how can you determine what is meant to be fluid and full of growing life? We could really fully explain in a few short words, but here is a starter in terms of eternity’s view.
The ecclesia is it?
- A building on a corner and a reclusive grouping, huddled together in fear of the reality of living?
- A gathering of the emotionally crippled, the mentally scarred, seeking to find a God that will give them something to live for?
- Or a congregation of bruised & broken, poor & powerless, banded together in common pain, motivated to share their self-pitying lot in life?
- Or is it again the air-conditioned luxury pad of the affluent, middle class meeting to thank the God that grants them wealth & power & disturbs them not?
- Or is a group gathered in a home pad hoping to make friends?
- Or a group of people from every culture enjoying each other and God in a large congregation or house setting?
The ECCLESIA, a people called out according to purpose, the church is the congregation of God on the earth. It is the manifestation of God on the earth. His body through which his life & power expresses itself. A community where the Kingdom of God is manifest in full measure. A people Declaring, Living, Loving, being the nature and demonstration of the Father to the world. Jesus respond to the enquiry of “…show us the Father…”, from his disciples those whom he had called to be with him he said to them “…who ever has seen me has seen the Father…” and later in John 1:18 (NASB) we are told that Jesus “…came to explain the Father…”, so too this church, the ecclesia does exactly that, see the community, the church and see the Father, the church is an explanation of God expressed through a family!
Yes it has gathered into itself the flotsam & jetsam of life or perhaps better put the fringes of life have been transformed, conformed and formed into the body of Christ. The maimed & bruised, the weak & the poor, the lost of all lands forged together to be the people of God expressing the triumph of Christ, becoming the life of God while being attractive to our world (Isa 2).
Yes it has also gathered together the rich & the powerful, who found themselves empty with all but want of Him.
In Christ’s church all are leveled by grace & faith.
We must be elevated to a new place to understand the church, in and thru, which God is not only bring creation to liberty and freedom (Romans 8) but also instructing angels, the supernatural in the love and working of the Father (Eph 3:1-11).
The one thing I CAN SAY is this, THE ECCLESIA IS A FAMILY AND NOT AN ORGANIZATION OR STRUCTURE OR MEETING OR WHAT WE DO, IT IS WHO WE ARE, THE FAMILY OF GOD. In the Day we live in its more than ever a time we became a family, the family of God taking on all its familial language and proclamation it. Being those that bring the implication of being a family to bear on the church, being relational, belonging to each, realizing the order is in terms of fathers, sisters, mothers and brothers who have the function of ministries. Never becoming a structured organization only governed by laws, do’s and do not’s but an organic living church, living by grace, acknowledging that the ecclesia does need some structure it is that which serves the life, enables the living, flowing, organic order to flow and let the family ways, Gods family ways direct the functioning and being of the church!
Re discovering and capturing back to creation the image and likeness of the Father in the Son.