Did you catch that? I just wrote "Dear Church". That may be an insignificant introduction to you, but to me, it's taken a lot of years to look at the church and realize it is something I hold dear. Through the gospel of Jesus, the power of the Holy Spirit, and the Word of God, my thoughts and affections for the local church have transformed in extensive ways. When I read through the Bible there are many words that describe the followers of Jesus. For example: body of Christ, bride of Christ, royal priesthood, a holy nation, assembly of the saints, city of the living God, flock of God, or the household of God, each of the descriptions point to another truth about God's work in our lives and in our family of faith on mission.
How do you feel about the church? How is your relationship with the Bride of Christ? Is the church a reminder of the reverent wife who in reverence for the Groom's provision, sacrifice, and honor, she submits to His plans? Or have you seen the church more as a bridezilla? There have been times growing up when I have experienced the church worshiping, serving, and growing in Christ; however, there have also been moments of intense brokenness, arguments, and bridezilla-like nature. And in these moments, I realize who I am. I am the bride of Christ, the dwelling place of God, and part of the body of Christ. I also have my moments when I worship, serve, and grow in Christ; however, I also have those bridezilla moments in my life.
This reveals something deeper about the Head of the Church, Jesus. His unconditional love pursues us in all seasons. His purpose is for His strength to shine forth in our weaknesses. His grace conquers our sin and shame. His mercy allows us to continue to serve and carry His name. His discipline is to remind us of His redemption and faithfulness. And His love for the Church is the fuel for all believers to give us perseverance as we serve through the church. The more I love Christ, the more I love the church He loves. The closer I am to Christ, the more passionate I am about His church. The reality of my need for grace, reminds me to extend it to the church. If you are struggling to serve, to minister, and to be a part of the church; take some time to learn from Jesus. The Church has been made precious and dear through the blood and resurrection of Christ, just like you.
Thanks for being an incredible, precious, and dear church. Thanks for helping one another. Thanks for showing the love of Christ. Thanks for allowing the Lord to use you each and every day. Thanks for allowing His grace to be the source of your peace on tough days. Thank you, Woodmont Baptist Church.