27th Feb - Seeing Christ through His Church

27.2.18


Matthew 23:1-12 (Holy Communion)

This is a passage which summarises so much that is wrong with the world. And what is it? The hubris of man.

In every sphere of life, church included, we see this playing out on a daily basis. Many men and women want to be “exalted”: to be recognised, acclaimed, honoured, titled, promoted and so on.

Many want to preach, teach and be heard.
Few want to live it out.

Many want to be seen doing.
Few want to serve in secret and unnoticed.

Many want to sit on VIP tables or the front rows.
Few want to be unnoticed at table no. 36.

Many want to be acknowledged when they walk pass.
Few want to be invisible.

Many want their full titles mentioned when their names are printed.
Few want to be plain John Doe.

Jesus reminds us that we are all on the same plane - relative to God, that is (Matt 23:8). And so, we are just brothers and sisters with one another.

Matt 23:10-11 should not be read literally or there will be chaos in schools and homes. But we should get the point that our Lord was driving at. If we reference ourselves to Christ constantly, we will know our place in life. The pecking order is irrelevant and all the associated rules, if done to mark our positions in life (instead of duty), are foreign to Christianity. Many presuppositions about leadership and authority in the church can be very flawed.

I am not saying we should never show honour where and when it is due. Jesus is not asking us to be rude towards others.
But we need to grasp the calling to live under the lordship of Christ and how that can affect the way we relate to our fellow-brothers and sisters. There should be no gods nor lords amongst us.

If anything, the church needs to be counter-culture. Much of our own social or racial cultures have crept into the church. We should strip them away if the Church is to be a true community of brothers and sisters, and if the world is to know that we are Christ’s disciples (John 13:34,35). They may know that you are a member of a Church but they will never know you are a follower of Christ - the greatest servant of all and the servant of all - unless your life reflects Him.

Be a servant, be vulnerable, be humble, be real and yes, be human.

Through your daily life, let others see who you are following.

May the world see Christ through His Church. 

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