Saturday, July 25, 2009

Follow Up Thoughts on the Perfect Church

I meant yesterday's Friday Five to be lighthearted, mostly, but some of the responses were rather profound. I think some might have been reluctant to play because of having very public blogs--and of course others were outside in the summer sun instead of sitting at a computer keyboard. :-)

Nonetheless, there were some remarkable similarities in Rev Gal longings about the "perfect" church. It doesn't seem to matter all that much whether we are evangelicals, mainline folks, Catholics, Protestants, Pentecostals or Anglicans--we all do have a sense of what the "Body of Christ" -- His Church -- should be in this world. Pondering church can be a little depressing, can't it? We know, and pastors know more than most, just how short we come when we measure up to the ideal. So I decided to post something that was shared with me at the last area minister's group I attended before leaving my congregation. It blessed my heart, and I hope it will bless yours as well. It is by Carlo Coretto, and is from The God Who Comes.

How baffling you are, O Church, and yet how I love you!

How you have made me suffer, and yet how much I owe you.

I should like to see you destroyed, and yet I need your presence.

You have given me so much scandal, and yet you have helped me understand sanctity.

I have seen nothing in the world more devoted to obscurity, more compromised, more false--and I have touched nothing more pure, more generous, more beautiful. How often I have wanted to shut the doors of my soul in your face, and how often I have prayed to die in the safety of your arms.

No, I cannot free myself from you because I am you, although not completely.

And where would I go?


Anonymous said...

Great sums up much of my feelings about the "institutional" church.

Diane M. Roth said...

Singing Owl, I love this! so true...

the only reason I didn't play was time. I had just gotten a post up the night before, and hoped people would comment on that one.

It was a GREAT idea for a FF!

lorna (stf) said...

thanks owl