Posted by: rogermitchell | June 26, 2010

And you being rooted and grounded in love..

In a recent comment Cecil mentioned waking up with this prayer from Ephesians 3: 17-19:

“That Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth,  and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.”

This is the ongoing experience of love that means we are and have good news. It is preceded by Paul’s statement of the stewardship of God’s grace that was given him to preach the unfathomable riches of Christ to the nations, a word that has now been twisted by the identity/ difference boundary.  The love statement is followed by the giving of the so-called ministry gifts, another category pretty much ruined by that same boundary. The purpose of mentioning this is to take note of how deeply this third boundary [in Stephen’s helpful analysis in the last post but one] has impacted the calling and nature of the ecclesia. So we need to be and stay baptised in Jesus’ love, which possibility is the heart of the good news.

What I am reaching for here is a way to redescribe our mission as the people of God that will not simply resuscitate deathly categories of difference and identity but genuinely proclaim resurrection.



  1. I guess the habit of resurrection is walking through walls (boundaries). In our friend Mike’s helpful language, to disregard them. But to disregard them is first to regard (see) them and then to know they are not eternal. From the perspective of the eschaton, they do not exist. They will not have been.

    I think I have to now avoid the term people of God for this reason, unless that term is unlimited. Something along the lines of eschatological people might be good for describing those people who are trying to be proactive about the work of resurrection… it refers to what we are trying to do rather than who we are/are not. I wonder whether the once helpful notion of ‘we *are* church, we don’t *do* church’ has outlived its usefulness on lots of levels.

  2. I do agree with you about the inadequacy of the “people of God” term – as everybody are that. But finding words that are not too mystifyingly weird is quite a challenge. I quite like eschatological people but it’s a bit long and theological. Maybe I’ll simply stick with ecclesia for the time being…

    • Yeah, I’m not going to be precious about the name. Don’t mind what it is, only wondering how it can avoid being easily framed as an identity or exclusive group.

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