The Church is a display of God’s beauty and grace to the world. It is in the church that the world gets the chance to glance at God as people indwelt by God interact one with another. Jesus is manifest through a Body. God has even ordained his manifold wisdom to be made known to the spiritual realm through the Church (Eph 3:10). God is amazing! The church is like a frame adorning the picture in the centre.
Recently I attended another church, a large church, which was quite cutting edge. I had been on their website and visited the church simply because our churches minister in the same radius. While there in this church, a couple guys spoke to me for about fifteen minutes talking about how great their church was. Here were some of the statements that were made to me. “I don’t know what I’d do without my church.” “Hey, you like coffee? Our church has the best coffee.” Etc.
Jesus loves the Church. We should love the Church. We should love the universal Church locally expressed. I want our people to love Disciples Church where I pastor. But strangely, I was hearing about how great this particular church was for a quarter of an hour, yet Jesus was never mentioned. Being a bit of a techie guy, I was impressed with the technological prowess of this church. I was intrigued by their use of contemporary culture, but I was saddened that the glory and greatness expressed was a church and not her Saviour.
This caused me to reflect on the church I pastor. What do the people that I lead say about Disciples Church? Is our church a window through which Christ is made visible to the onlooker, or are we busy pointing to the bevels in the window? I don’t have an answer, but I’m resolved to make sure the answer is Jesus. What makes the Church beautiful is her Saviour who purchased her by his own blood. The beauty of the Church is the beauty of Jesus. Let’s never reverse that. Let’s never sell our people the vision for our church at the expense of a vision for Christ. In actual fact, the more we magnify Christ, the more beautiful our churches become. This beauty is anchored in God and not us.