By Aristea Zekios
If you were asked which photo correctly depicts the Church, which one would you select?
When I was growing up, I thought of the Church as a building where the faithful gather for worship and prayer. However, I later learned that in reality, the Church is a living organism, composed of people who strive to live a Christian life in the Spirit.
My middle school students were asked about the above photos. This evolved from our study of Pentecost from Acts 2. We had learned that the descent of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost initiated the Church’s public ministry of proclaiming the risen Christ. As a result, the young Church began to grow in numbers as well as in its spiritual vision and life. It was, at this point, time for the students to explore the word “Church.” So we did a bit of Bible research.
Saint Peter defines the Church as “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people” (1 Peter 2:9). In his epistles, Saint Paul calls the Church the “body of Christ” with Jesus Christ as its head (Ephesians 1:22,23 and Colossians 1:18). In 1 Corinthians 12:12-31, he tells us that the Church, as the body of Christ, functions like a living, human body. Every part of that body, every Christian, has been given talents and gifts to ensure that the Church lives and grows in perfect harmony as it continues the work of Jesus Christ.
After looking up Bible verses, we further discussed that (1) we complete the Body of Christ and (2) our Lord uses us as His hands and feet to fulfill His divine plan. In our continuing study of Acts for this school year, the students will see the growth of the Church. They will witness the wondrous works of the Apostles. They will understand that we have all been chosen as God’s People to “declare the wonderful deeds of Him who calls (us) out of darkness into His marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9).
By Aristea Zekios
Church School Teacher/Grades 7,8