I Believe in The Church (Part 4)

So with the verses from the previous post in mind let’s have a little chat about this picture here:

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Is this a sheep or a goat?

The story behind this picture is an interesting one – this photo was taken by NPR, and posted above an article about how to keep your goats happy. The farmer told the photographer it was his ‘goatee’ (this was in Senegal, Africa) and the photographer took his word for it, so did the photo editor and the author of the story, until their African correspondent sent a poetic email –

The ears, the ears!
It’s all in the ears!
Goats have sticky out small ears!
These flappers surely belong to a sheep!

She might as well have said, “An enemy has sown weeds in your field!”

This is the difficulty with living in the world today – we don’t know for sure who is a part of the Body of Christ, and who is not. But I believe in the Church because it is the body of Christ, it is the presence of God in the world today, and contained within the visible church are those who are the faithful saints, brothers and sisters who follow doggedly along behind Jesus.

This is the church that I believe in, and I see it’s potential as well.

I see the church as the hope of the world. It is the community that God has ordained and called out to be the community that brings light to a dark world. It is us, the people of God, who are to make the most change for good in this world. Our call is to witness, through the way that we live, to the life of Jesus, and the coming Kingdom of God. Our hope of what is to come drives this.

Jesus tells us what life in the kingdom looks like, he gives us passages like the Sermon on the Mount, or in John’s Gospel, his farewell discourse – love one another even as I have loved you. There is no other group of people in whom I would put my hope.

We are the ones that God has chosen.

Let that sink in for a second.

The Church has been called into being and entrusted with the message to change the world. That is the reason that I am a minister, because of the people. If I wasn’t a Christian and I had the same desire that I do now to change the world, to bring about good, I would go into politics, and legislate change, or I would work for a humanitarian and social justice agency.

But I believe in Jesus, and I believe in his family, so here I am, working for the Church to be a place where people are given a fresh vision of who God is, and the life that He has called us to, so that we can go out into the world and bring about change, so that we can see a bit of heaven on earth. We attend worship on Sunday to have our minds renewed, to have our imaginations widened, to see the infinite possibilities that God has gifted us with. That’s what I love doing, to help people to see this world and it’s people as God does.

I listened to a talk on Brexit, and why it was a bad thing, the reasons that were given were it promotes alienation, nationalism, and even xenophobia. The answer posited to fix these problems was globalisation. The creation of a single world entity. For me, I can’t back a secular project of globalisation, because I believe in the Church.

Where is the place where there is no alienation? Where the dividing wall of hostility has been broken down? The Church. Where is the place where national pride and allegiance to government is ceded to a higher power? The Church. Where are all equal before God, where is there no division, slave or free, jew or gentile, male or female, but all are one? The Church.

This is why I believe in the Church, because there is no other place like it on earth. This is why I’m a minister, this is why I’m here and will always be, because I have caught a glimpse of the bride of Christ, and she is beautiful.

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