Images of the Church

654 Words3 Pages
The images of the Church are extremely important in Church history. They explain how and why the people of a certain time viewed the church. There are many different images that people associate the church with. Most of these images are based on a time period, whether it’s a time of suffering or a time of triumph. The first image is one of the earliest images to describe the Church and it comes from the New Testament. In the first century, the church was identified as the “New Vine.” (Isaiah spoke of Israel as a vineyard of God) This image helped answer the questions of how Gentiles could become members of God’s chosen people without first becoming Jews. It also served as a reminder that everything Christians do must be directly rooted in Christ or it will have no life or meaning. It most clearly describes the Church’s self-understanding in the biblical period. Christians believed that a new shoot, Jesus Christ, was created in the vine; a new vine. This was unlike the Old Testament because it would never go wild and produce what God didn’t desire because God himself, in the person of Jesus Christ, was its main vine. All the shoots (people) of the vineyard came from it. This leads to the persecution of Christians by the Romans in the first three centuries. The image in this torturous time was understood to be a “Dwelling place of God.” This symbolized the Church where God dwells with humankind. At this time the Church offered the presence of a loving and caring God. It’s a community whose life together revealed God. This leads to the end of all the persecutions when the church began to rise. After all of the persecuting rulers and emperors came Constantine. He made an agreement and formed an alliance with Lincinius. Part of t... ... middle of paper ... ... will feed, educate, and protect her people. She will feed them the Bread of Life. She will teach the truth about God, human nature, and salvation. She will also rescue her people when they fall into sin and offer them protection from hell. This imahe was an important part of moving Catholic Church beyond Protestant Reformation. All of these images represent people of different times. They show how the people viewed God and how they believed God will always be good. I think that all of these images are still representations of the Church. They explain all of the struggles and hardships the church went through. They also represent how the people of the Church stayed united through these hard times. The Church is one thing that will never fail because all of the people are connected with the ideas of fulfilling God’s will for them and having eternal life with God.
Open Document