28 There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s offspring,k heirs according to the promise.
Central to the teaching of St Paul is that Christians, enter into a new life, which is no longer controlled by the order of worldly things, is no longer subject to the plans of the devil or the forces of evil but is lived “in Christ” and to the glory of God. Jesus himself taught his disciples to set their hearts on things above and not on things of the earth. St Paul interpreted that to mean that we are no longer of this earth, but our life belongs to Christ who has set us free from sin, free to worship him in spirit and in truth. If this is true; and it is, then how does the Church live as the body of Christ?
In Baptism we confess that we no longer live as slaves to the forces and ideas and powers of this world – we need to live true to that confession. We need to live according to the principles of God’s Kingdom. We need to do what we believe needs to be done, according to God’s will as the Scripture says, “Thy Kingdom come.”
We continue Christ’s earthly ministry, the same way that He did as he walked the earth, setting ourselves aside to this task does not mean removing ourselves from the world – in fact it is just the opposite, it means going into the world interacting at every level in love and peace and reconciliation.
The Church is the family of God, in all its different forms seeking to continue Christ’s ministry in the world. Every day, in every encounter, Jesus sought the will of the Father. Jesus never did anything just because He could, although all power had been given to Him, He never spoke out of His own understanding nor acted out of his own will but He only sought to do what God asked Him to do. This is what it means to be “the Body of Christ” to act upon God’s desires with Christ as the “Head” and we as His body, each doing a specific task so that with all believers we will complete the will of God.
I want to end with this challenge to us all.
- To pray daily that God will guide us throughout the day to do what He has sent us to do in the world – pray for an understanding of every “divine appointment” that God sets up for us.
- To pray that God will show you how your secular work is part of His Kingdom Agenda.” How does the Work you do glorify God? How do you glorify God doing it?
- To pray that God will heighten your sense of Vocation. What has God called you to do as a life work, that he has sent you to where you are? (this is not about employment but about deployment).
- To read scripture seeking to understand these things through your reading.
- Lastly – to enter into dialogue – let’s start speaking to each other and to the world – sharing our thoughts and our journey towards understanding – what it means to be – The Body of Christ. Your fellow Pilgrim Fr Andrew
The Holy Bible : New Revised Standard Version. 1996, c1989 . Thomas Nelson: Nashville