Jan 29, 2010
Church. Just say the word out loud and you’re almost guaranteed a reaction. For some the idea of church is about as welcome as eating a bucket of KFC at a vegetarian banquet. Others will gladly regale you with childhood stories of boredom so severe, they’d have gladly swapped their pew for a dentist’s chair or staying after school. And others could break your heart with true experiences of toe-curling judgment, mean-spirited rejection, or foul-smelling hypocrisy. I bet you have your own stories. If you don’t yet, I’m sure you will. I’ve got a few.
But despite it all, I still love the church. I really do. I don’t love it in the way you love your grandma who smells funny but still gives you twenty bucks on your birthday. I love it like a hungry kid and a bag of Cheet-O’s. Like a dog loves a fresh milk-bone. That kind of love.
And I know the church has lots of flaws. Inevitably, churches have people in them, and wherever you find people, you’ll find problems. (Now if we could just get rid of the people, we’d really be onto something, right?) Of course, when I look in the mirror, I find that I, too, am often part of the problem.
But here’s why I still love the church, no matter what. I love it because Jesus does. He uses words like beautiful bride, family, and body of Christ to describe us. He sees us like a proud parent watching their child stumble through “Chop-sticks” on the piano. He knows what the song is supposed to sound like, but He loves us still. And He’s able to make the song beautiful, even when we miss some notes or strike the wrong chord. He’s that big. He’s that good. Not that we shouldn’t keep practicing, keep improving. The song we play together is a work in progress. But it’s a song that still needs to be heard, a chorus we keep inviting others to join.
What makes us so valuable, so indispensible is not how “together” we are. Rather, it’s because of Jesus, the One who loves us, who calls us His own, and who makes out of us something beautiful.