‘Who can show us any good?’ (Ps. 4:6)
One thing we must discern is our disappointment with the Church. Broad is the way of grousing against her, finding fellow grumblers who echo our contempt. Few are those who perceive underneath her failures the beautiful, broken body of Christ—as fragrant and winsome as a virgin bride. Narrow the way that refuses to wound her further with scorn; rather, we summon her best through our own prayers and faithful service.
We must renounce the childish view of the church as wicked hierarchy, and we its hapless victims. We are the Church—each one of us bears God’s image as much as priest, pastor, or pope. And like all three, we must continuously forgive broken Christians who misrepresent the Church to us. (Any Church leader who endures learns to forgive the Church daily…)
Two keys: forgive quickly, from the heart. Do so over and over again until you actually have faith for that ‘wing’ of the Church. And choose wisely. You do not have to be subject to cruel and unusual shepherding. Make a conscientious decision to congregate where you find Jesus.
But congregate! Jesus is there, ever faithful in the beauty of those present and in the unseen communion of all the saints who urge us onward from above. At times I am nearly overcome at Church with the sheer weight of glory amid the faithful. Jesus has opened my eyes to her beauty, in season and out. Let Him do so for you, that you too might behold her good—the very manifestation of Jesus on earth.
‘Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.’ (Heb. 10:25)
‘Father, grant us divine sight for Your bride. Help us see what You see, and feel what You feel towards her; help us become who we are as that ‘bride who has made herself ready.’ In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, we confess our sins of cowardice and compromise. We have violated Your holy commands in regards to what we have done to our bodies and other bodies. And in our compromise we have become cowards, unwilling to stand for what we know to be true for the dignity of all. We ask that You might have mercy on Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, and Washington; uphold marriage in these states, and in our nation, as the Supreme Court prepares to rule on ‘gay marriage.’