SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT
from Revd Alistair Jessamine
‘To God be the glory in the church …’
Ephesians 3.21 GNB
What is the function of the Church?
I daresay that the central answer to that question is that the Church is there to mediate religion. It’s there to make the claims of religion known. It’s there to uphold religion as one possible way of understanding and coming to grips with the nature of human life and existence, for instance.
The value of existence. That’s one of religion’s central concerns, and it’s the Church’s job to set out the arguments and claims and contentions of religion on that score.
The Church views all the processes of human life and existence as ultimately significant for one dominating reason, and that is the Christian belief that God is in charge and in control of it all. If there be no God and, more importantly, if there be no God such as He of whom the Bible speaks, then existence in general, and human existence in particular, has no meaning; and the entire Bible, both Old and New Testaments, may as well be written off. Indeed, if there be no God, then the whole of religion – every religion – is called into question. Religion, in other words, depends upon the Reality of God for its plausibility.
The Church believes that God was before all the worlds began (impossible as that is for our creaturely human being to fully comprehend). Pre-existent, eternal and everlasting in His own Being, Creator of the universe and, if all that be true, then assuredly, ‘To God be the glory in the church’.