Wednesday, August 19, 2015

The Ekklesia's Duty

In the past I've written much about experiential aspects of faith in God. Throughout my experiment with blogging I deliberately focused on these aspects over all else because it was first and foremost a personal endeavor. That I was privileged enough to have people actually follow diligently, and share in that experience far exceeded any and all expectations I could have had for that experiment.

Now I gingerly turn the page and venture into a brand new chapter of this journey, for in the past several years of blogging simply about aspects and ideas of Jesus within the context of my personal experience I am now faced with the turbulent realities of the community of faith, and the turbulent world in which it finds itself.

The truth is that we live in a very dark world. True, there is much light in it, but this light is rapidly fading because we as individuals have forgotten our role in this cosmic drama which is unfolding.

Those who are depraved wallow in their depravity. Those who are men and women of faith choose to simply ponder what God's action will be in response to the darkness. There has been an unconscious abdication of human duty in this divine narrative which is being written.

The church, the body of Christ, is not a passive institution (and I say "institution", but not in the traditional sense of the word which many would ascribe to corporate cronyism) but rather ought to be an active, powerful priesthood within the world. We ought to be the torchbearers sharing light that isn't our own but, rather, simply carrying that light where we are led.

Does this sound strange? Does it sound like something out of a fantasy novel? 

Think of any great epic in literary history. Think of the dire circumstances, the masses desperately crying for hope and heroes desperately sought after. Think of the forces of darkness, mighty and daunting closing in until defeat seems inevitable, yet at the very last moment the heroes appear (led by a fearless king) and fight back the darkness restoring justice, hope and light.

You and I live in a painfully average world of our own creation. We have lost our sense of wonder and have confined it to the storybooks, but ask yourself this:

What if this story were true, and its implications eternal?

Stories like these don't only exist in the fairy tales. The beauty of reading history is that it can strip away the lackluster elements of the everyday grind and reveal that very same narrative running through the fabric of the human experience.

Churchill was ridiculed and laughed at.
Lincoln was reviled. 
Cicero was exiled. 
Jesus was crucified.

These men didn't assign themselves to the station of the ordinary, the unremarkable passive existence of men without character. They lived lives rooted in character, tinged with flaws (which are common to all mankind) yet trusting in the greater purpose for which you and I were designed to live.

I don't believe that the Ekklesia, the physical manifestation of the Christ to mankind, are relegated to a life of irrelevance. We are each stewards of the capacities and talents God has hardwired within us, and we have a duty to use those to our utmost ability. This means that we can and must speak every opportunity we get. The Gospel isn't a systematic theology it is simply Good News that Jesus has done what we ourselves couldn't do. He brought reconciliation with God. Now, you and I are free to engage the world without being saddled with religious requirement.

We are charged with actively instituting the Kingdom of God among men. A kingdom which defies all worldly convention and breaks down barriers. A kingdom which seeks to defend not only our own liberty, but the liberty of others as well.

Does this mean moving outside of your weekly church service? Without a doubt. 
Does this mean making active personal sacrifice? Certainly. 
Do we actually have to pursue politics? Depends on your calling. 

I have in the past avoided politics on this blog, perhaps because I was fearful of automatic assumptions of others clouding the overall observations I was making about faith and experience, but I realize that God works through His chosen in all capacities whether civic, religious, national, community or family related. Because God Himself isn't divorced from any aspect of live, neither should we as the Ekklesia be.

So herein lies a new train of thought, one which will take a definitively different approach than previous blogs on this particular space. It will be primarily externally focused over personally contemplative. I hope that these musings will continue to challenge and cause the reader to think about the greater story being told.

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