Over the past couple of months we have seen many examples of passionate patriotism. First, we had the 2014 World Cup held in Brazil where emotions ran high as Germany became world champions. It was funny watching the lengths spectators would go to in the support of their team and country. People walked around resplendent in their respective national colours as well as their national flags wrapped around them. Faces were painted and it was not hard to tell which national team they were supporting. I guess every German national was so proud to be German following their win at the World Cup. Then of course, on a smaller note, we had the Commonwealth Games held in Glasgow Scotland. Again we witnessed enthusiastic patriotism as nations competed for gold, silver and bronze medals. Representing your nation is a great honour and citizens rally behind those who represent them in the sporting arenas.
Citizenship is a much underrated joy we experience. There is a sense of belonging. There is a sense of commonality. There is also a sense of unity. We are in it together and we rally together when difficult times come our way. Paul teaches much about citizenship in his letter to the Ephesian Christians. In our text today, Ephesians 3:1-13, he teaches the great blessings of the new citizenship we have with God and His family. God’s family is truly unique. It has representatives from every nation, tribe and language in it! This family is bound together as one and has Jesus Christ as its head. Paul goes into much detail as to the purpose behind what God is doing by bringing all the nations of the world together as one. He describes it as a mystery that has now been revealed for all to understand, grasp and respond to with great joy!
God’s intent in making us citizens together in the church is to show to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms His power and wisdom. How is it possible that there can be unity, love, compassion, forgiveness and grace in such a diverse and at one time warring community? It is all because of Jesus and it is through Jesus that God accomplished His amazing intent and plan! As citizens of God’s remarkable kingdom brings with it responsibilities and as such a new ministry. This new ministry aligns exactly with the great commission that was given to all Christians and that is take the gospel of Jesus to all nations! I know that I may sound like a broken record that keeps playing the same note over and over again, but I do believe that our church must resemble God’s intended family – a family where the nations of the world come together to worship God as equal members. A family where its members are in love with one another. A family that is full of joy because it typifies the Father’s heart of love! Our new ministry is to bring the nations into His church! What a privilege we have as citizens of God’s kingdom here in Kogarah where He has placed us for His glory!