Don’t Forget the ‘of’! Reflections on a Preposition

Updated: Oct 7, 2021

“Of,” a tiny preposition, may seem like an insignificant word, but it carries great meaning and functions importantly in the context of the Waynesboro FM Church mission statement. I begin with a short grammar lesson: Prepositions usually proceed a noun and show a relationship. In the example of our mission statement, it proceeds the proper noun “Jesus Christ.” “Of Jesus Christ” is a prepositional phrase that functions as an adjective describing “faithful followers,” and showing the relationship between “faithful followers” and “Jesus Christ.” In this usage, “of” carries the meaning of “belonging.”

Hence, the “faithful followers” belong to Christ. So...

...the mission statement asserts that we are to multiply (repeated addition) “faithful followers” who belong to Jesus Christ.

I believe this presupposes that we, the one’s doing the multiplying, belong the Christ. To take this idea a step further, perhaps this alludes to prelapsarian time in the Garden of Eden. There humans (only two) lived in a relationship of belonging to God. The fall fractured that relationship when Adam and Eve violated God’s prohibition against eating of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Fortunately, this fall paved the way for God in the Person of Jesus Christ to restore us in our relationship to our Creator. Now as transformed and transforming human beings, we are given the ministry of reconciliation to help restore others to their right relationship of belonging to Jesus Christ (2 Cor.5:18).

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