[This is from service three of “End of the world as we know it” Camp 2012 with speaker Garland Owensby/my thoughts]
We all want to know where we came from. We all have a start, a story, a beginning. Look at any adopted kid- so many of them have no clue to what their history is. They have no idea what their story is. They have no idea where they came from. In John 1, there is a direct link to Genesis.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him there was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it…the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.
The terminology used might confuse you if you’re not familiar with this passage of the Bible but bear with me. This scripture directly references two things: 1) Creation 2) Christ as Creation. Jesus Christ has always been…and will always be. (Hi)story happens…history paired with His story of love is exactly what John was writing about. At one point he said to his disciples that he will build his church. But in the original Greek, he said “ecclessia”. This was extremely significant. At the time, the Romans ruled everything and because of that, a ton of people were outcasted, rejected, left out. Their version of “ecclesia” was, in essence, an assembly of rich voting land-owning men. When Jesus came around he wanted to show them how much he loved his people- his very Creation that he has loved from the beginning. He changed the definition of “ecclessia” by saying that by his love, all were accepted. He challenged his followers to go to everyone because they belong.
The world may tell you that you don’t belong. Or the world may say that the disabled doesn’t belong. The different may not belong. But Jesus says that his love is greater than any of the world’s judgments, criticisms, or separations. Its time for his “ecclessia” to be built. Check out Galatians 3:26-29:
…for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slavet nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.
The world, the culture always looks to divisions and differences. True “ecclessia” looks to Jesus- his love and his story for us. With that we are all connected. We need to be there for each other- not in judgment or condemnation, but in love and compassion. Carry each others’ burdens because Jesus carried something that was never meant for him- the cross- our cross. To be the church- Jesus’ “ecclessia” we are to be one, supportive unit, that holds each other up, especially when we are weak or struggling. With that, we also hold each accountable and draw out the best in each other. That is the “ecclessia”…and you belong. It came from Christ, in the beginning.