"When dawn spreads its paintbrush on the plain, spilling purple... ," Songs of the Pioneers song from TV show "Wagon Train." Dawn on the mythic Santa Fe Trail, New Mexico, looking toward Raton from Cimarron. -- Clarkphoto. A curmudgeon's old-fashioned newspaper column, cross-breeding metaphors and journalism and art, for readers in 150 countries.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Ten days to Christmas - "called out"?

"Called out" of the cold--5 by 7 watercolor
Ten days to Christmas - season of the "called out."
In a season of "going to church," we forget the meaning of the word makes that impossible.
"Church" is wrongly translated from the Greek word word meaning "called out," ekklesia  (ἐκκλησία), and Jesus used it only three times. Greeks used the word to refer to an assembly of citizens, called forth, from "ek" meaning "out of" and "klesis" meaning "a calling."  
In Matthew 16:18 the proper translation should be "I will build my "assembly" not "church," and other teachings in the New Testament make it clear that the "assembly" is Christ's mystical body. (See Christ's ekklesia and church compared.)
How much better would this world, and this season be, if people thought of themselves as the living church, the actual body,  of Jesus, rather than  a place to go remember him as someone born long ago.
Would that affect behavior, and the way we treat our fellow humans --knowing that all followers of him are actually part of him, are "church"? Would that end division and hatred and judgment between all the groups that gather "in church"?
"Called out" of the cold, out of the material world, into the warmth, into a life of putting his teachings into practice in our own lives and in how we treat others--isn't that what "Christ" mass is supposed to be about? Not "church."
You can't "go to church"--you "are church."

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