Many churches throughout the world use a Bible reading schedule called a "lectionary." It's just a fancy word meaning "selected readings." Posts like this reflect on the readings for an upcoming Sunday or other Church holiday, as found in the historic one-year lectionary.
Our readings are those for the Feast of St. Thomas, celebrated on December 21. Yes, I know we're pretty far ahead of December 21, but there's a big pile of holidays at the end of December and beginning of January, so we'll be behind before you know it.
Christ is the head of the Church, to whom all the rest is connected. In Ephesians 4 the apostle Paul speaks of grown-up Christianity, which realizes Christ is the head. He says this is "mature manhood (v. 13, ESV). And yes, women, that applies to you also. All humanity becomes mature and stable when connected firmly to Christ as the head.
What's the alternative, as far as Paul is concerned? In verse 14 he speaks of being a child as the alternative to manhood. What's wrong with that? Jesus even says we need to have childlike faith in him. He says to allow the little children to come to him so he can give them blessing. Being a child in Christ is a place of special honor and care.
The problem, as Paul sees it, is that the children in Christ are easily deceived. They are tossed around by doctrines. They can be taken in by human cunning and schemes. While having a basic Christian set of beliefs, the child in Christ can be led astray by false teaching. The adult in Christ can't be led astray. Where Christ the head leads, there the body will follow.
The apostolic teaching, in the hands of apostles, prophets, pastors and teachers is what builds us up into unity in Christ. It protects us from false teaching. It guards us from our foolish ideas. It shows us how to engage in the work of the ministry as we grow into the fullness of mature Christianity.
Our passage, then, urges us to seek out sound Christian teaching. Gather in the fellowship of Christians in local church services. Hold fast to the Word of God. Receive communion frequently and joyfully. Don't allow anything to separate you from the means of grace. Then we can all grow together in Christ.
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