Thursday, March 20, 2008

The Church

Very soon I will publish some posts about missions as a continuation of what I started a few weeks ago, but for now I need to tell you something. The last few weeks God has been doing a beautiful work in my heart in regards to the church.

For several reasons, which I will not get into right now, I have had a hard time getting involved at my parent's church. I really miss my little church in Fort Collins. The church my parents have been at for 2 years, and I 1, is large and until recently been full of strangers to me. The Word is faithfully preached and it seems that new believers are added every week. I praise God for those two things, for the churches I have been in the last 10 years, besides the church in Fort Collins, did not have either.

The beginning of December I was really struggling with my attitude towards the church. I was very critical, disinterested and apathetic. The last thing I wanted to do was go to church, be with a bunch of strangers and introduce myself to people who would forget me by next week.

A horrible attitude, I know.

Thankfully, very thankfully, God changed my heart. In my arrogance I could not even see that God was calling me to serve. It was easier to sit back and complain about how things should be done. Then, it was as if God spanked my backside and said, "Shape up. I love my Bride and you should, too." Funny thing, I thought I did love the Church because I complained about how She should be. Funny too, how complaining doesn't help fix anything.

The following song was instrumental (ha!) in really sealing the conviction I had already felt. Read the lyrics carefully and think about God singing this to you-

The Church
by Derek Webb
On the album She Must and Shall Go Free

i have come with one purpose
to capture for myself a bride
by my life she is lovely
by my death she’s justified
i have always been her husband
though many lovers she has known
so with water i will wash her
and by my word alone

so when you hear the sound of the water
you will know you’re not alone

(chorus)
‘cause i haven’t come for only you
but for my people to pursue
you cannot care for me with no regard for her
if you love me
you will love the church

i have long pursued her
as a harlot and a whore
but she will feast upon me
she will drink and thirst no more
so when you taste my flesh and my blood
you will know you’re not alone

(chorus)

there is none that can replace her
though there are many who will try
and though some may be her bridesmaids
they can never be my bride

(chorus)

What am I willing to do for the Church to see her pure, Christ-centered, discipled and serving Jesus? That is what God has been asking me. Right now I only have a partial answer and have started getting involved where I can use some gifts and passion.

I love you, Church!

(Thanks, too, to my mom and dad for challenging me outside of myself, to Dawn who always has to endure my complaining and to Joel for giving me a fresh perspective!)

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

What a great song! I've never heard that one before... I'll look forward to hearing how your life and the church continue to mesh in His grace :)

AnnieM

Augustinian Successor said...

I like to sing ... in church. Look forward every Sunday to singing, too. Gotta have a part of my week in singing!

Proverbs 4:18 said...

Haha...you made me laugh while being choked up. It is my "pleasure" to hear your complaints, for through them I too grow in my agony for the Church to be a pure Bride. You spur me on, dear. :-)