I am by far the least important of all the Lord’s holy people. But he gave me the grace to preach to the Gentiles about the unlimited riches that Christ gives. God told me to make clear to everyone how the mystery came about. In times past it was kept hidden in the mind of God, who created all things. He wanted the rulers and authorities in the heavenly world to come to know his great wisdom. The church would make it known to them. That was God’s plan from the beginning. He has fulfilled his plan through Christ Jesus our Lord. (Ephesians 3:8-11, NIRV)
I remember once telling someone that I wouldn't want to serve a God I could fully understand. What kind of God would that be? Today, as in the current era of my life, and today, meaning the last 24 hours of my life, that idea has been tested. I stand firm in my statement, but I am amazed by what I cannot fully understand: the church.
In Ephesians 3, Paul writes that the church is an integral part of revealing the wisdom of God, the mystery of God. Specifically, the church would be the vessel that shows how all are welcome into God's family - both Jew and Gentile. Though God's plan was fulfilled through Christ's death (think of the symbolism of the tearing of the veil into the Holy of Holies in Matthew 27:51), it would be made known through the church.
When I think of the church, I think of the old hymn, "'Tis a glorious church without spot or wrinkle." Eek. It sure feels a little wrinkled, like maybe God needs to toss us back in the dryer on high heat or pull out the iron to straighten us out. But, if I'm going to sing that song, I can't stop with that one line because I'd miss the important part, "'Tis a glorious church without spot or wrinkle... washed by the blood of the Lamb." Just like Paul wrote to the Ephesians, this hymn reminds us that we become the church only through Christ.
God, help me to be the church.
This post is a prompt from Five Minute Friday and was written in approximately five minutes. For more information, visit fiveminutefriday.com.
"'Tis a glorious church without spot or wrinkle." Eek. It sure feels a little wrinkled, like maybe God needs to toss us back in the dryer on high heat or pull out the iron to straighten us out. LOVE THIS!ReplyDelete
Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving a comment! Also, thanks for affirmation that we don't have to say Jesus to mean Jesus is at work.i wrote my five minute post from my cell phone in a hospital room. Jesus has been here all week but hasn't been mentioned much.ReplyDelete
Loved hearing your words about the church being without spot or wrinkles.
This is so honest and true and I'm sure we all have those questions about 'church'.ReplyDelete
I am not what I ought to be;
I am not what I wish to be;
I am not what I hope to be;
But by the grace of God, I am not what I was. John Newton - the man who understood amazing grace!
"I wouldn't want a God I could fully understand..." This is so insightful, Amie, and so true. We do have a gift in the mystery, don't we? Thank you! Karen :) (FMF #10)ReplyDelete
When I was younger (I'm still young!) I enjoyed the company of Rugby Thugs, and so felt that if I walked into a church I would be greeted with pitchforks and torches...so I worshipped at The Catheral of Nature, fining transcendence in the desert. Kind of like the Desert Fathers of old, I fancied.ReplyDelete
Trouble was, I didn't see that there was a nexus between hooligans and church people. I rejected what I did not understand, to my loss.
I thought that church was largely made
of people, oh so proper, prim,
and that as one from darker shade,
I thought my prospects grim,
and would not venture through the portal
for fear they'd hate my face,
not knowing that, shared life so mortal,
they would yet offer grace.
And then one day I nerved and dared
to sit there in that rearmost pew,
and found (Egad!) they really cared,
and my life came something new,
a deep, profound humiity
that these good folk could love me.
Amen! "Tis a glorious church without spot or wrinkle... washed by the blood of the Lamb" - thanking God for his grace and mercy.ReplyDelete
I love that old song!! And so do my kids, oddly enough - it's a favorite of ours. Though we feel like it must surely be spotted and wrinkled, Christ makes the church clean and beautiful!ReplyDelete
Amie, I'll be humming that old hymn all day! You shared some wonderful thoughts. I am so grateful for all the spots and wrinkles He removes from me daily. May He help me each day to be a reflection of Him.ReplyDelete
"It sure feels a little wrinkled, like maybe God needs to toss us back in the dryer on high heat or pull out the iron to straighten us out."ReplyDelete
Love this! I agree with this sentiment! I wonder if God isn't using everything going on in our country and the world right now to do just that...
Yes, exactly. We cannot and will never fully understand God. The more we learn about Him the bigger, the more amazing, the more colorful, the more glorious He gets. We can only accept this God by accepting the sacrifice Jesus made so we could come to this God more worthy of all our praise. Thank you for your thoughts!ReplyDelete
Hmm... could it be we've been tossed back into the dryer during this pandemic? Hopefully the heat won't have to be turned up more.ReplyDelete
So glad it's all on Him - His blood washes me clean. I just have to be willing to be washed ....