What words describe the church?
On her worst days: Manipulative. Stubborn. Judgmental. Outdated. Boring. Ineffective. Shortsighted. Self-centered. Mean. Isolated. Pessimistic. Distracted. Hypocritical.
On her best days: Generous. Loving. Truthful. Redemptive. Encouraging. Focused. Inspiring. Energetic. Bold. Brave. Involved. Hopeful. Merciful. Grace-filled. Gentle. Tenacious.
But here’s the thing – whether she is having a good day or a bad day, one thing is always true: She is always the Bride of Christ. Christ loves her passionately, in spite of her imperfections. He loved her so much that he willingly laid down his life for her. He knows full well that one day they will be together face to face and then she will be absolutely Perfect. Unblemished. Beautiful. Fully His.
What are the implications for us who self-identify as Christ followers?
- We should love her too.
- We should be slow to criticize her.
- We should support her with all we have.
- We should believe in her.
- We should realize that WE ARE THE BRIDE OF CHRIST. Jesus loves us as we are but loves us enough to not let us remain as we are. His desires for us are nothing but good, redemptive, honorable, merciful and caring.
The church is God’s one and only plan to deliver the life saving message of Christ’s sacrificial love to a desperate and dying world.