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SUNDAY 27 MAY 2018
Ephesians deals with topics at the very core of what it means to be a Christian—both in faith and in practice, it invites us to continue our journey of “Shema” - hearing and responding to the invitation and challenges God is placing on our hearts as individuals, households and as a community.
The mystery of the gospel is that while God picked the one group in Genesis 12 – His plan had always been about the many – the many languages, the many skin colours, the huge diversity founded in Genesis 11 at the Tower of Babel. The mystery and surprise of the Gospel is that every single one of them is included together, with Israel as members together of one body, sharing together in the promise in Jesus Christ.
This is the boundless riches of Christ and the administration of this mystery. And the ramification is COSMIC. God’s huge surprise is that the CHURCH is the vehicle by which God’s wisdom is made known to the rulers and authorities in heavenly realms.
The church is the body of spiritual warfare – that we do not battle against flesh and blood but the rulers, principalities and powers of this age. The Church is God’s surprise weapon!
The way God has chosen to reveal His wisdom is through the church.
The call of the church is to be a shining example of a group of people who have worked out how:
- to actually do reconciliation,
- to have the barriers and dividing walls of hostility between us torn down and dissolved by the peace Christ gives us,
- to offer forgiveness,
- genuinely operate without power plays,
- to let go of all the things we learnt at the fall
What does it take for this to genuinely happen? What does it take for the church to become the body by which the manifold wisdom of God is known to rulers and authorities in heavenly realms?
We have to acknowledge that this is not true in our society and its not true in our own worldviews. We have to be convicted by the mystery of Christ and embrace the discipline of thinking, acting and behaving as if it is true.
- We have to acknowledge that privilege exists – that we have cultural bias.
- We have to choose to learn language and custom and culture. We sing and speak and seek to grow in our understanding of Te Reo – because we acknowledge that part of our bias/privilege is only speaking English! My dream is that we do this not only with Te Reo but Samoan, Chinese, sign language! – whoever we are called as CNL to reach.
- We have to choose to listen and change – even where it costs us personally.
- We have to confront the places we seek to control and lord it over others.
- We have to choose to enjoy people who are younger than us and enjoy their music and vice versa…those who are older than us and enjoy their music (We may not enjoy it…but we choose to focus on how great it is that someone so different to us is here)
- We have to choose to do the uncomfortable thing for us, in order that the last, lost & least might feel the comfort of welcome into the body.
This is the call to us – to become ones who embrace those who are different to us so that: Through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be known to the rulers and authorities in heavenly realms.