Commemoration of Allen Gardiner, founder of the South American Missionary Society, 1851 Commemoration of Albert Schweitzer, Teacher, Physician, Missionary, 1965 In this Body of Christ, Paul sees "the ecclesia of God". Ecclesia is a Greek word with a splendid history. It was used in the old free commonwealths of Greece for the general assembly of all free citizens, by which their common life was governed. When political liberty went, the name still survived in the restricted municipal self-government which the Roman State allowed. It was taken over by the brotherhoods and guilds which in some measure superseded the old political associations. Among the Jews who spoke Greek, this word seemed the appropriate one to describe the commonwealth of Israel as ruled by God -- the historical Theocracy. Our translation of it is "Church". That word, however, has undergone such transformations of meaning that it is often doubtful in what sense it is being used. Perhaps for ecclesia we may use the word -- simpler, more general, and certainly nearest to its original meaning -- "commonwealth". [Continued tomorrow].