The beautiful bride of Christ.

I’m still writing devotionals… But over the process of writing, I’ve been contemplating the Church.

The body.

The bride.

God’s called out ones.

Now, I study theology, but I also think that it’s impossible to examine the doctrine of the church as a purely academic exercise.

There’s too much fervour, too much love, just too much.

Jesus Christ is passionate about His church. He always has been. It literally jumps from every page of Scripture, Genesis to Revelation: God is zealous about the hearts of His people.

He loves them, He longs for them, and He has done everything for us to draw close to Him.

It’s the picture of the Father earnestly preparing for the wedding day of His Son (Matthew 22).

And this community, this bride, this body of which Christ is the Head, is the instrument that God has chosen to bring hope to the entire cosmos.

I love discovering the purpose of the church, because Jesus died, poured Himself out, and gave Himself up (Ephesians 5 v 25) so that He might have an equally yoked bride (2 Corinthians 6 v 13).

The church, as Christ’s body, should search out His nature, His purpose, His design, His command, and live life in sacrificially responsive submission to the beat of His heart.

‘He [God the Father] has put all things under His [Christ’s] feet and has made Him the head over all things for the church, which is his body…’ (Ephesians 1 v 22-23).

I find Bill Hybels’ account of Dr Bilezikian, describing the dynamism of the Acts 2 church, an incredible challenge:

‘…a community of believers… so devoted to God that their life together was charged with the Spirit’s power… believers loved each other with a radical kind of love. They took off their masks and shared their lives with one another. They laughed, cried, prayed, sang and served together in authentic Christian fellowship. Those who had more shared with those who had less until socioeconomic barriers melted away. People related together in ways that bridged gender and racial chasms… this community of believers, this church, offered unbelievers a vision of life that was so beautiful… so bold, so creative, so dynamic…they couldn’t resist it’. (Hybels 2002:17-18)

And with that thought, I am challenged to serve the beautiful, messy, being perfected church that I am a part of.

Just keep loving. And serving. And being. Community.

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