What I want to stress here is that Matthew's use of ekklesia
(16:18; 18:17 (9)) cannot be referred to in order to claim that "the church" has now come into being, as if "the church' were something other than a synagogue.
The problem, Ekklesia
director Jonathan Bartley told journalists, is marriage itself.
Members of the Christian ekklesia
learn new modes of relation.
Rather than the rock imagery of our readings from Isaiah and Matthew for the ekklesia
of the faithful, Paul invokes the organic image of the body, which he'd previously used to good effect in his Corinthian correspondence.
49) It did not create the structures of ekklesia
, diokesis, village, town, or neighborhood.
This is at the very root meaning of the word ekklesia
, which was borrowed by New Testament authors from the civic arena.
35) Antonio Autiero, "L'uomo tra 'polis' ed 'ekklesia
': La questione antropologica nell'orizzonte della teologia liturgica," Annali di studi religiosi 8 (2007) 237-49; "The Human Being between Polis and Ekklesia
," Studia Liturgica, forthcoming.
means an assembly of citizens called away from everyday routine, gathered to deliberate issues that pertain to civic and political life in order then to reenter it with a different attitude.
deciding their own spiritual welfare and commitment, ekklesia
is "called to welcome all children and embody an alternative vision for the world, witnessed in practices of vulnerability central to its sacramental and prophetic life: baptism, peacemaking, sanctuary, and prayer" (102).
Here we are, beginning Pentecost, the liturgical season that focuses on who we are as the ekklesia
of the Lord: the called-out people.
The only true identity any Christian need claim is that of child of God, member of the body of Christ, among the number gathered as ekklesia
, the "called out" community known as "church.