It’s not MY body – or yours – that I’m talking about…it’s HIS body.
Over and over the Bible pictures the church as JESUS’ body. (Colossians 1:18; Ephesians 4:12, 4:16, I Corinthians 12, for starters!)
I can tell you honestly and sincerely, I love the church, the body of Christ! I love it passionately and deeply.
My love for the church began when I was six years old and I started attending tiny Fountain City Wesleyan Church. It may have been tiny, but those 30 or 40 people loved me; they showed me Jesus; they created a hunger in me to know Him and His Word; and they instilled in me a life-long desire to love this Jesus more and more, the Jesus who demonstrated His love for me at Calvary. It wasn’t a perfect church, but oh how I loved that church!
My love for the church continued and deepened as I came to another tiny church in 1973: Heritage Wesleyan Church. Over these many years, I’ve walked alongside hundreds of people who help make up the body here: people who are human, normal, sometimes struggling individuals who are my “family” in Christ.
We’ve laughed and cried with one another, loved and served one another, hurt and forgiven one another, sacrificed and worked beside one another, succeeded and failed with one another…and been family together. It’s never been a perfect church, but oh, how I love His body at Heritage!
I’ve also come to love His body in India, in Sierra Leone, in Mozambique, in South Africa, and in Zambia. People of different languages, different colors, different cultures. But there’s something amazing about the tie that exists between us because we belong to the same Father; we love the same Jesus; we’re filled by the same Holy Spirit. Oh, how I love His body worldwide.
This past Sunday my love for His body was overwhelming as I attended our brand-new launch in Buffalo, IA. The joy was exhilarating; the sense of community was thrilling; the blessing of seeing all those people enter those doors was overwhelming. It won’t be a perfect church, but oh how precious it will be to watch more people come to know this Jesus and love Him and learn to live for Him because of a church called QC West.
I love the body of Christ, His church. It’s a good thing that I love it…because HE LOVES IT, TOO! I’m in pretty good company!