Google+ 12/04/12 Parts is Parts!

Ephesians 2:18-20

 

Now all of us can come to the Father through the same Holy Spirit

Because of what Christ has done for us.

So now you Gentiles are no longer strangers and foreigners.

You are citizens along with all of God’s holy people. You are members of God’s family.

Together, we are his house, built on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets.

And the cornerstone is Christ Jesus himself.

 

If any of you woke up this morning feeling alone, I have a solution and Scripture for you!  Yes, Paul was originally writing this to the church at Ephesus.  Paul penned this book immediately following his writing of Colossians.  A little know fact is that several of the original Greek manuscripts of Ephesians are missing the greeting found in Ephesians 1:1, giving credence to the fact that Ephesians may have been written to all the churches of Asia Minor.  If you will, Paul may have left the first line blank so that each church that read the letter could fill in their own name. This could be a meaningful practice today in the 21st century, if it would help us take Paul's message to heart.  Ephesians, like none of Paul's other letters, seems to have but one purpose and one conclusion.  That is if Christ is the church's head, then all Christians are members of His body.  Believers have a unique and intimate relationship with Jesus, hence they have the same unique, intimate relationship with each other. Through the blood of Jesus Christ, we have all been redeemed, Jew and Gentile.  Does that mean that every believer has equal access and importance to God?  Absolutely!  Here is the great news for those of you that woke up today feeling insignificant.  Even if you think you are "a little toe," you are just as important as an arm or a leg to God.  You have the same rights as the seemingly "important parts."  God is just as concerned about you as He is about everyone else.  Paul tells us in the Scripture today that even those believers that may have not belonged in the past, are part of the Family of God now.  As believers, we share the same foundation in the apostles and prophets.  Many denominations practice "laying on of hands" in conjunction with church membership and/or ordination of ministers of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  If you have been confused about this practice or thought their might be some kind of "magic" involved, our Scripture today explains why we do this.  The symbolic "laying on of hands" takes us back to the days of the original apostles and prophets.  It is their hands that we are feeling.  It is their lineage we are enjoying.  It is their prayers that are being offered for us.    It is Christ who is our cornerstone.  So, it is accurate to refer to each other as family in Christ.  It is glorious to proclaim our Family of God.  I have one caution here.  Like our nuculear family, we don't get to claim to be "family" only when it is convenient.  We don't get to celebrate graduation without enduring homework.  We don't get to rejoice in great health without being there and praying for sickness.  We don't get to fellowship with our "brother" if we constantly treat him like our enemy.   Here's the big one.  We don't get to call each other "family" if Christ is not the cornerstone.  Remember the Tower of Bable?  God confounded all of them because they refused to acknowledge who Dad was.  They were not family.  They were just a bunch of people in the same place, at the same time, doing the same thing.  Sadly, many of our churches today are the same way.  A lot of us show up on Sunday to do the same thing, in the same time, in the same place, right down to the pew or chair we sit in every week.  Many ministers refer to their congregation as "family," only to be absent in mind, body, and spirit when the "family" needs them most.  So, we are all family in Christ.   When a hand is hurt, the other hand has to do more.  When someone bites us in the heel, we may have to crawl on our hands and knees until we heal, to continue to do God's work.   Remember, Jesus is the head of the body.  God is our Dad.  If we do all these things, we truly can celebrate being a part of the Family of God and claim our heritage equally.  After all, "Parts is Parts!"

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