As a child, when my parents traveled for work or for fun, they always came back with a gift. Their absence created excitement for me to see what they would bring back. I might have been a bit too eager when they returned to ask for my gift, instead of just saying how glad I was they were home. As I got older and started traveling I too started picking up gifts for family and friends. Even now, when my parents travel they bring their grown adult children gifts back from their trips, and I still look forward to what they will bring me.
As we recently celebrated Easter we spent time reflecting on the power of the Resurrection and the pivot of Christianity. Have you recognized the gift given to us from the Resurrection?
In the tomb, even though no one seemed to be waiting for it, the world changed. The Church changed.
Prior to the cross, there was Jesus and his disciples and apostles ‘doing ministry’ as they traveled. But, in the descending and ascension of Christ, He prepared gifts for us, His Church.
Ephesians 4:7-13 But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ's gift. 8 Therefore it says, “When he ascended on high he led a host of captives, and he gave gifts to men.” 9 (In saying, “He ascended,” what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower regions, the earth? 10 He who descended is the one who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.) 11 And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ."
The Resurrection initiated a decentralized church:
- where ALL were expected to GO
- where ALL were to be equipped to GO
- where the leader commissioned the followers
The Resurrection looks similar to our current circumstances where the church building or leadership are no longer central to our worship or our actions. Due to Covid-19 the way we’ve done church can no longer stay the same. The Resurrection took the work of the few and distributed it to the many. Through the gifts of the Holy Spirit and His empowerment, everyone was now able and responsible to share the love and message of Christ.
Now, going on 5 weeks, our churches have taken a similar turn. The work of the few has been distributed to the many.
Prayerfully going forward, our churches will continue to celebrate the tragedy that moved us out… The push that helped our church body stand stronger… The crises that forced us to serve, share, give, care like we should.
As a church, examine your strategy for Ephesians 4:7-13 and how you are equipping your body to be the church.
As an individual, examine your role in Ephesians 4:7-13 and how you are to be using your gifts and talents to help others serve and share.
Take a few minutes to see some of our recent updates on Caring thru Crisis. We’ve had conversations about displacement, communication, family and other ways to care.
Check out our YouTube channel here.
We love The Church, both near and far, and pray that we would continue to see Christ be glorified through His Body!
Founder and Team Lead
P.S. Our team is currently in a 4 part series on the equipping gifts from Ephesians 4. I will provide the links to the posts that have currently been sent. If you would like to be added to our mailing list for the remainder of the series please send your email to: firstname.lastname@example.org with a request for the “Equipping Series”.