Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Feast of the Holy Cross
Whatever may be our differences of colour, culture, and class, the unity that is ours in Christ is given visible expression at every Synod. Here we all gather around the one Altar, here we all share in shaping the policy of the Church in this diocese; here we all take part in making provision for carrying on the work of the Church during the coming year. At this time, year by year, we are specially conscious of our unity in Christ, and are made aware afresh that we are members of this new race of human beings which is made up of all those of every ethnic group who have been added to Christ. We are members of that Kingdom in which all human antagonisms are transcended. Yet we shall not interpret aright this unity which is ours in Christ Jesus unless we continually remind ourselves that it has its origin in His death and resurrection. The Church springs out of the deeds of Jesus done in the flesh, and we can only fulfill our destiny in the Church as we learn that we are utterly dependent upon the whole Body of Christ... Whatever gifts we possess belong to the Body, and are useful only as they are used in the common life of the Church. All this is made very plain in the New Testament Epistles, for in them we are taught that in each local Christian community is a fellowship in which every member is to live in humility and in love to the brethren. Yet no local church is to live to itself. Again and again, local churches are reminded of their close relationship to one another, in life, work, worship, pain, and death. Not that such a relationship is to be regarded either as a matter of convenience or as a question of organization. On the contrary, this intimate relationship is seen as the direct outcome of the saving work of Christ. This unity with one another, and of local churches with each other, is the unity which belongs to the Body of Christ, arising from the unity of God Himself, uttered in the dying and rising again of Jesus, and now expressed in the order and structure of the Church.
... Ambrose Reeves (1899-1980), “The Church is United in the Body of Christ”, in Church and Race in South Africa, David M. Paton, London: SCM Press, 1958, p. 30-31
(see the book; see also Ps. 133; Gal. 3:28-29; Phil. 2:2; 1 Pet. 2:9-10; more at Altar, Body of Christ, Christ, Church, Community, Fellowship, Unity, Worship)
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