June 6, 2022
TODAY’S SCRIPTURE REFERENCE:
“However, we speak wisdom among those who are mature [maturing], yet not the wisdom of this age in which we live nor of the rulers of this age which they seek to enable because all of these come to nothing.” (1 Corinthians 2.6)
“Now we have received not the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.” (1 Corinthians 2.12)
During my previous reflections leading up to the day of Pentecost 2022 (yesterday), I would identify Paul as Luke’s travelling companion. It was my way of keeping the focus on Luke’s gospels of the Christ and His Church. Truthfully, Luke was Paul’s travelling companion for a time. There is little doubt that Luke respected Paul and his ministry since it makes up the bulk of Luke’s writing called The Acts of the Apostles. I have called it for the sake of reflection- Luke’s Gospel of the Church. The writings of Paul covered about eighteen years of Paul’s life as a disciple of the Church and an apostle of Jesus the Christ from around 48 – 67 A.D. Luke’s gospels were written fifteen to twenty years after that. They serve as a record of accountability and fidelity to the commissioning given to the disciples in the Upper Room by Jesus after His resurrection. They were, in many respects, primers for church growth. Some may prefer to speak of church growth as evangelism, but they are fundamentally not the same. Euangelizzo, the greek word for evangelism, is the declaring of the good news that Jesus of Nazareth is God’s Messiah, our Christ and Savior of the “world.” The broadcasting of these “seeds of truth” was to produce a harvest of souls to be gathered in from out of the world. They were to be brought in to the “barns and silos” of the Kingdom of God on earth- the Church. But, in order for there to be these “gathering places” where the harvest was collected and transformed to be sent back out into the world, the disciples/apostles had to build up the Church. In some ways it would mirror the expectation of the Temple without the physical temple itself as in Jerusalem. Paul would write in defining this reality a description of our bodies as a temple in which the Holy Spirit resided. Even those “temples,” our bodies would eventually be torn down just as Jesus alerted the Scribes and Pharisees of the Sanhedrin they would do to Him. However, equally vital to that image which Jesus proclaimed was the rebuilding of the true temple of God on earth- the resurrected community of faith. Let’s call it the Messianic Community.
This is where I see the gospels concerning the Christ and the gospel of the Church as primers for church growth. Since we are, as Paul proclaimed, members of the body with equal importance as to the functionality of the body, then we must build up the body to its greatest level of maturity. When I was presented today’s scripture, it was as if the Holy Spirit was planting a descriptive seed in my mind. The “age” in which Jesus said “I AM with you always until the close of” is the “Age of the Church.” But, now, in light of the above scripture (2.6) I have to consider that the “Age of the Church” is fully intended to be the “Age of Wisdom.” Before this time, the disciples were inundated with knowledge. There was the knowledge of their true identity. There was the knowledge of their true purpose. There was the knowledge of their true accountability. There was the knowledge of their true reward. When Jesus spoke to the woman at the well, as recorded in John’s gospel, He said “One day we will all worship as one in spirit and in truth.” Putting all the pieces of knowledge (the truth) together by the work of the spirit manifests the wisdom of the age and all ages. It is where the Kingdom of God in Heaven lands squarely on its feet on earth and moves out into every world making the presence of God known. It isn’t just knowledge or “just the facts.” It is the active reality of “faith in action.” Wisdom comes to be known in the vitality created by the integrity of “word and actions coming together.”
We are called, mighty ones of God, to be building up the Church so that there is a community of faith which assists in the transformation of the harvest of the gospel. We are called to be wise in building up the body of Christ on earth. We are called to be wise in preparing ourselves to be the “Bride of Christ” who is coming to gather us home in a place He is preparing for us now in Heaven. If we are called to be wise, then it would behoove us to heed the “age of wisdom” and act as if we are truly wise. And that is to be truly wise as in the terms of the manifestation of God’s kingdom and not of the kingdom of humanity which has proven to be a catastrophic failure.
OUR CALL TO PRAYER: Father God, maker of Heaven and earth, we bow before You and give thanks. You are seeking to make us wise in the ways of Your Kingdom so that we may accomplish the good which You have made us for on earth. Our hope is that this will truly be as close to “our Father’s world” as possible. We will not be able to accomplish this without the blessing of Your Holy Spirit. Form and shape in us the awareness of “this age” we are meant to live in. Help us to be better in producing it and promoting it over “this age” we now live in. To You will be all glory and honor given in Jesus’ name. AMEN.