My daughter Elliot has fine blonde hair. Right now, it is quite long – and usually messy. When she goes to school or to church, her mom fixes it for her. But the rest of the time, she lets it go. It is always hanging down in her face or in her food.
Occasionally Elliot will take a balloon and rub it, hard and fast, against her shirt sleeve. Having done that, she’ll then take it and hold it beside her head, and all of her hair will immediately cling to that balloon.
What has she done? That’s simple. This is second-grade science. By rubbing the balloon on herself, she has created static electricity. The static electricity draws her hair away from her head and toward the balloon. Here’s my point: we cannot see that electricity. It is invisible to us. But we know it’s there because of the unnatural way Elliot’s hair moves toward the balloon.
In the same way, the invisible power of the gospel is made visible when people come together in supernatural community. The church is not a social club of like-minded people from similar backgrounds who share the same basic circumstances in life. The church is a diverse people, comprised of individuals who would never get along or gather together apart from the truth of the gospel.
When people see a group of retired men together at a coffee shop, that makes sense. When people see a group of young mothers socializing while their children play at a park, that makes sense. But the gathering of the church – that shouldn’t make sense. Indeed, it can’t make sense, apart from the power of the gospel. But when the church gathers, in all of our diversity, we highlight the power of the gospel. We make what would otherwise be invisible visible. More than visible – we make it impossible to ignore.
His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, according to his eternal purpose that he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Ephesians 3:10-11)