Monday, September 26, 2011

The Forgetful Bride

I frequently browse several blogs, and "a drop in the ocean" is one of them.

Blogger RJ has put together quite a nice space, complete with poetry, random musings and stories about traveling!

It's really cool, you should check it out when you get a chance!

I really liked RJ's thoughts in a post entitled, "Sunday musings- the Church."

[Excerpt:]

"The Church. Some go as a Sunday obligation, others to socialise, and some to actually worship God, hear his word and share fellowship with each other. Today I was thinking about the latter group. In the church today, we sing lots of songs, many of which are good songs, praising God and what He has done. But how much do we think about what we are singing? Sometimes I feel like aspects of the gospel are romanticised and dramatised in our songs, as if they need dressing up, to make them more palatable (not just in songs, but that is my main area of focus at the moment). Sometimes I feel like we are focusing on a few aspects of God, the ones we feel comfortable with, like His love, mercy etc (which is great, nothing wrong with that) and forgetting that His love meant sending His Son to die on a hard wooden cross... "

[You can find the rest by clicking the entry link above :)]

It occurred to me that this is a common phenomenon in Church history. The body of Christ (the people that God works through to meet humanity's many physical needs), is referred to countless times in the Bible as "the Bride of Christ."

While this may be slightly confusing to some within or without the church, it means simply this...this bride, this group of people are supposed to represent a marriage of humanity with the divine. They are supposed to represent the world that God intended before things went horribly awry.

But, what I am coming to understand is that this particular bride is exceptionally forgetful. What RJ notices, is that often in the church the reality of Jesus and his work in this world is glossed over. If you have been raised in a church then perhaps you can relate to this. If you hear something often, the depth and weight it carries with it can be reduced into a small bumper-sticker worthy statement.

"Jesus died on the cross for our sins."

Cute.

Now it can go on my car, so other people can read it as I swerve angrily in and out of traffic 'cause I missed my alarm and am late for work...

But a slogan doesn't really do the act itself justice. It doesn't help a teenager growing up in America understand the agonies of crucifixion, or the conviction or fortitude it must've taken Christ to follow through with it. The above statement, whilst it works well on a billboard, or a bumper sticker, doesn't help the bride remember the great lengths that the groom went to prove his undying (literally) love for her.

RJ goes on to ask the haunting question: "Are we becoming wishy washy Christians?"
And I would say, absolutely.

To clarify, I don't mean that Christians should be more militant in the interest of avoiding "wishy washy-ness." There are plenty who identify as Christians in this world who are quite zealous, and I really don't believe that is how Christ wanted his bride to treat others.

However, I do think that we are becoming wishy washy in knowledge.
We're wishy washy in understanding.

When the reality of Jesus' sacrifice penetrates the heart, and seeps into the bones of his bride it is a catalyst for some of the most beautiful work this world could ever witness. Because you can't stay the same. It is nearly impossible for someone to receive the revelation of God's love poured out over us, and not to be moved.

The church doesn't need to dress up, or make palatable the concepts of Christ, because He is quite possibly the most inspiring person who has ever lived.

So then what do we do?

It is my personal belief that revolution only comes from within an individual. It is only when the hearts of Christians worldwide change, that we'll see a shift from staleness to freshness, from wishy washy to assertive and confident. We have this power within us, and it is when we light up in this way, when we choose not to forget, but to meditate, reflect, and celebrate this extremely compelling story, well...

Then we will see not a forgetful bride, but a bride in all her radiance and glory.
A brilliant beauty that will leave all who behold her in awe.
The marriage of the human and the divine.

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