For this week’s CRF I want to share a piece of what I shared with our men on Saturday at the Men’s Discipleship breakfast, share an encouraging word from this past Sunday, and drop a quote on you that may make you think differently about the Church. Let’s get to it!
From the Tide Pool to Open Water
One of the aspects of parenthood that I shared with our men on Saturday is that parenting in every age and stage is a bit like life at the sea. An older pastor once told me that parenting 0-5 years old is like having children in a tide pool. One of the main objectives is fun in a safe environment. There in the tide pool, a child can explore in safety and learn how to find fun in the simple things. From 6-10 we move from the tide pool to the shoreline.
There, the waves break and crash but these aren’t the dangerous swells found further out in the ocean. This stage is where our children begin to learn responsibility; you could call this learning how to swim. Next, we head to the sandbar in ages 11-17. Here our children head a bit further out to sea, learn to swim in deeper waters of responsibility, and have a foundation of what we’ve taught them to that point to stand on. Here, children begin to test the limits and the boundaries of adolescence and practice swimming in deeper water. Finally, there is the open sea in ages 18+ where our hope is that they learn to swim and begin to swim well over time. And if you as a parent feel like you’re drowning while trying to teach your children to swim, don’t give up! Even the winds and waves obey Jesus!
Loving the Bride
In my study this week I was struck by two main ideas:
- All of the promises in Ephesians 1 are found only in Christ through the Church.
- We experience the fullness of Christ insofar as we are connected to and in the church.
My prayer for us as Fellowship Bible Church is for our love of Jesus to continue to translate in how we love the bride of Christ that calls Fellowship home. The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. - 1 Timothy 1:5 ESV
First Scent of Hope
Finally, the final clause describes the fullness of the one filling all in all. Does this “fullness” refer to the church or Christ? If the former, then the church is the receptacle of Christ’s fullness and also continues to be filled by God. In this interpretation, believers represent Christ not simply as forgiven sinners, but as containing within the church the fullness of God’s plan of redemption, the first scent of hope and promise to a world decaying in sin. The church is integral to God’s plan in Christ to make known to the powers now and in the age to come His greatness and glory.
Lynn Cohick (2010). Ephesians (p. 58). Eugene, OR: Cascade Books.