Kraemer: What is the Church for?
Feast of Etheldreda, Abbess of Ely, c.678
Although I am less than the least of all God’s people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things.
—Ephesians 3:8-9 (NIV)
The underlying questions are always: What is the Church? What is the Church for? If that is not kept in mind, the lay ministry, about which so much is being said at present, remains on the level of a many-sided activity in which the self-assertion of the laity threatens to be more evident than a new manifestation of the Church in modern society. The responsible participation of the laity in the discharge of the Church’s divine calling is not primarily a matter of idealism and enthusiasm or organizational efficiency, but a new grasp and commitment to the meaning of God’s redemptive purpose with mankind and with the world in the past, the present, and the future: a purpose which has its foundation and inexhaustible content in Christ.
... Hendrik Kraemer (1888-1965), A Theology of the Laity, London: Lutterworth Press, 1958, p. 91 (see the book)
Quiet time reflection:
Lord, all parts of the Church point back to You.
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