A Church made out of Blocks

It’s been a long time since we had blocks in our house. First there were the boxes of wooden Melissa and Doug blocks, and later Legos. My daughter and I packed up the last box of Legos at Christmas to pass them on to a young neighbor. I miss that time of building houses, airplanes and even once a strange looking pet-care salon made of mostly pink cubes. But never a church.

Our little church on the corner looks like it might be made of Legos right now. The beautiful „onion top“ dome has been removed and carefully set on the ground. The octagonal bell tower still chimes, even though it is wrapped in sheeting and surrounded by a wire grate. It still works of course, and no plaster falls on anyone’s head during services, but somehow it is not the same because all the pieces are not where they should be, and some are missing.

I thought about the onion top dome lying on the ground. When something is taken apart because it needs to be repaired, it is not the same as when it is destroyed by fire or broken. Yet the Gentile church is broken, at least to some extent on the inside, by her early separation from the Jewish church. Johannes Fichtenbauer describes it as one of the ways that the Enemy keeps the church from being who she should be:

„Since the One Church is the instrument of healing and restoration of humanity, a divided Church is massively handicapped to fulfill its ambassadorial purpose. The victory of Jesus on the cross is still valid, without the union of Jews and Gentiles, but in a way limited to the individual aspect of redemption“ (The Mystery of the Olive Tree, 29).

Just like our building has a limited ability to express its full beauty this Easter week, the church in her current separated state can’t yet imagine how much more beautifully she will be able to speak for the kingdom when Jew and Gentile are united.

Yet there is much that stands in our way, as Jews and Gentiles. As a pastor said this week: „We, the Gentiles, were not there in Egypt. We, the Gentiles, were not there at Auschwitz.“ And we must acknowledge that we are responsible for much of the painful history and some of the anti-semitic parts of our liturgy that even emerge, like ugly thorns, during this most holy of Passover weeks. It is difficult to know how to proceed.

In Germany it is still not uncommon to see portrayals of Synagoga and Ecclesia, the old allegorical figures for the Jewish and Gentile churches respectively. Shamefully, Synagoga is often depicted either blindfolded or as here, with a broken staff:

How often we have examined our churches from a lop-sided perspective that made the Jewish identity of Christ invisible. The history of how the first divisions in the church occurred can be traced back to the Council of Nicaea in 325 AD when Emperor Constantine asked all of his bishops to remove any Jewish elements from his churches. It was then that Passover was separated from the date of Easter. The separation of the church from synagogue was often so complete we could not see that they had once been one.

Our tiny Bavarian church is a jewel, and we look forward to seeing her again in her full beauty. But we should look forward even more to a future with our elder brother, Israel. We should look for ways to wonder about how our churches are put together. What blocks do we need to keep? Which ones are blocks that we no longer recognize? And, are there some foundations that make our church unstable?

The church is not made of blocks, of course, but out of the communion of the saints. We can rejoice that we will be there, whole and without blemish when He comes for his Bride, and both Gentile and Jew shall call out: „Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready“ (Rev. 19:7).

Veröffentlicht von jdavidmartin68

Pro-lifer, Charismatic Christian who has been in the 24/7 prayer movement since 2008, bass player, translator, writer, father, husband, affiliated with a variety of ministries in Europe. Note that all views, opinions and thoughts expressed here reflect my own convictions, persuasions and ideas, not necessarily those of any ministry, political organization, secret cabal or other body, club or agency to which I do, may or could have belonged or been associated.

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