Jesus’ Work in the Church
The Bible uses so many different metaphors to describe the church. The Bible says the church is body, many but one, and connected to Christ as our “Head.” Like a temple we are built up. Like a bride we are married to Christ our Beloved. The church is pure like a virgin,[ and yet unified as if in the same way sex unifies man and wife as one flesh. We are likened to a family, citizens of a kingdom,[ members of a household; priests in a spiritual house, and we ourselves are containers that house the presence of God. The church is a household that is being built up into a holy temple. Did you catch all the “work” and “construction imagery?” God’s work builds up the church, so in our work we can build up his family.
Consider God’s parenting tactics in Deuteronomy 11:19-21; “You shall therefore lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall teach them to your children, talking of them when you are sitting in your house, and when you are walking by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” If Christ is indeed the parent of the universal household of the Kingdom, then he shapes all of life and ALL our work. He gives us sitting, lying, walking, and rising rhythms that help us process life and help us “be” the church wherever we go.
In Numbers 29, God acknowledges this continuum. He orders and shapes Israel’s life in daily offerings, Sabbath observance (weekly), monthly offerings, and annual festivals and feasts like the Passover and Feast of Weeks. Did you catch the liturgy? The Shape? The Work? The progression (moments, days, weeks, months, years)?
For those that are sitting and lying down he gives us liturgical prayers and rhythms of Sabbath to enjoy such a rest. For those walking along the way he gives us daily gleanings, wave offerings, and remembrances by which to grab another moment with him. For those that rise he gives festival and “joy that comes with the morning,” and “new mercies every day—great is his faithfulness.”
*For further reading in the Bible: Deuteronomy 11:19 – 11:21; Numbers 29; Ephesians 3:1 – 3:13; Romans 12:4 – 12:51st Corinthians 10:17; Ephesians 5:23; Ephesians 4:12; Revelation 21:92nd Corinthians 11:12; Ephesians 5:31 – 5:322nd Corinthians 6:18; Ephesians 2:19; Galatians 6:101 Timothy 3:14 – 3:151st Peter 2:6 – 2:71st Corinthians 6:19
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