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Saturday, 20 September 2014

Ephesians 4.12-14 equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming.

Christ is in the business of perfecting. His bride is being made ready. But this wedding preparation is more akin to a proverbial village raising a child than a singular bridezilla trying to do it all on her own. It takes the whole church to be the bride. We must surrender our western individualism - our me-and-my-salvation need only the cult of the isolated quiet time to survive attitude - and embrace our always intended corporate identity. We are a body. I can't be a body on my own. And it's high stakes here: how much we know about Jesus is dependant on how much we're willing to be dependant on his people. The body is built up by every member. Each member is needed if we are to reach maturity, if we are to know the Son, if we are to attain fullness. 

And this is some serious fullness we are talking about: the fullness of Christ is the fullness of him who fills everything in every way. Ephesians 1.23. We can't get filled up on our own. Not completely. This is joint enterprise. There are things about Jesus that I don't know, and perhaps can never know, unless I am willing to listen to the rest of the body. Oh so tempting to create a hierarchy of whose knowledge counts. Who will I let tell me something about Christ? Do I have the humility to listen to the parts of the body that I perceive as weak but God says are indispensable? 1 Corinthians 12.23. Leah is 10 years old but she knows Jesus in a way I just don't get. Her childlike faith is unsmeared with cynicism. Jesus loves her. This she know know knows. She knows it so much that this morning she got up at 6 to pray and paint and say thank you to her god. Let us always listen to the youngest voice in the room. Let us never scorn a child's wisdom. On the contrary, the parts we think are less honourable deserve special honour.

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