In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
It is through Him, through Communion with the Son of the Highest & our Creator that we have Life! Without Him, there IS only the life ( existence ) that is common to humanity; without the blessedness of Communion with the Body of Christ & our Heavenly Father, we should 'eat drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die'! If we partake in the Sacred Life of the Son of God, we have Eternal Life & will never die!
Of late, there has been much concern voiced over a growing trend of people leaving the Institutional Church in droves! This is of greater or lesser concern to many Christians, greater to those with a more traditional mindset, lesser to those more open to the notion that the Institutional Church & the Body of Christ are not One & the same! Of course, this is not to say that tradition is wrong, in & of itself, or even that those who cling to tradition are all wet, while on the other hand, it is not either to say that the members aren't interchangeable; one can belong to the Institutional Church & the Body of Christ at the same time! Again, just because One belongs to the Institution doesn't automatically mean that one belongs to the Body!
Jesus, we must keep in mind, though One with the Father & Almighty God Himself, confined Himself, in His humanity, to living in that 'present evil age', the age before the one we now live in, what He Himself called 'the age to come'! That was the age, particularly toward the end, in which Jesus & His disciples conducted their ministry, the ministry of which Jesus told His disciples , 'follow Me and I will make you fishers of men'! With the coming of the New Age, that 'age to come', in which we are 'sons of the resurrection', rather than being 'fishers of men', we now, as it were, are vessels ( pitchers ) of living water, that which Jesus promised would flow forth from the innermost parts of His disciples!
Although, in a sense, one might say that there are still plenty of fish in the sea ( more fish to fry ), according to Jesus Himself & the Fulfillment of His Revelation, there is no more Sea, therefore, by extension, one could say, there are no more fish! Jesus promised His disciples that 'He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water'. We no longer must angle for fish; now, in this New Age, we are water bearers; simply through our faithfulness to The Covenant & our Joyful Living, we baptize the Creation ( our world ) with the Light of His Grace, through the Power of His Spirit!
One short article that has recently caught the attention of this blogger was authored by one of those with a lesser concern for the new trend of leaving the Institutional Church! His mindset was more along the lines of those that would discern between the Body of Christ & the Institutional Church. This blogger even went so far as to suggest that this movement is of God, or instigated by our Heavenly Father; it IS His Church, after all ( not the IC, but the BoC )! I would tend to agree with that statement, but maybe that's just me, rebel & heretic that I am!
'And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and have our being'! Speaking of this physical existence, as the apostle was here, it is manifest that it is only through communion with Him & with His Creation that we have life at all, but through the blessedness of Communion with the Body of His Son, the Church, not the Organization but the Organism, we have Life without End!
We partake in the Sacred Life of the Word, not by eating a special meal every Sunday or by following a certain traditional ritual; we partake in the Life of Jesus by being His Water-bearers, vessels from which He pours forth His Abundant Life upon a dry & thirsty Land! As we minister this Sacred & Abundant Life which was poured graciously upon us, let us remember in turn to love as we were loved, not because we were worthy of that love, but because we simply were & because He is!
Charles Haddon Shank