I know a whole lot about churches.
You see, I grew up catholic.
Okay, that’s not totally true. I think it better to say I attended catholic kindergartens, pre-schools, primary schools and secondary schools.
They were simply the best. They usually are- run by the church.
And, as a schools run by nuns, masses and services and early morning prayers and all the shenanigans were naturally part of everyday life.
Well, the morning prayers were. Yes, even in Western societies some countries (or at the very least counties and cities) still embrace culture, tradition.
Tradition was held in the highest possible esteem, as was religion, as was Christ.
We were the Church.
Or so they thought.
Most of my friends really could not be bothered about it at all.
About the school, the church, Christ.
In all fairness, even our teachers struggled to sit through an entire mass.
Church was simply dead.
And so, growing up, and eventually moving from attending a Methodist church to a pentecostal, church did become more alive.
More real, practical, fun.
Church was life.
In our hearts and minds, that was.
Services had become exciting, interesting.
Speakers were prolific, engaging, funny.
One could relate. They could relate.
They were our fathers and mothers, uncles and daughters.
Church had become our own.
No longer strange, we were made to feel among.
Through the eye of an innocent child, things seemed all-right.
Until you looked beyond the charisma and sought for depth.
Tired of hearing about money and wealth, and seeking help.
Help in the form of purity and integrity.
Whatever happened to the message of humility?
A sense of holy dignity.
Whatever happened to strength in the place of suffering,
grace in times of seemingly endless wandering?
Whatever happened to the message of Christ?
And so I stood, and sat, and wondered right inside of the building called church,
whatever happened to Christ?
And so, as I stood and sat and wondered,
I heard his voice whispering..
Busy playing a role, you have failed to play your part.
As an instrument in My Hand,
you have broken My heart.
You are not part of My Body at all.
You are not My Bride.
You are not The Church!
But, if we weren’t, then who was?!
In a quest to find soothing answers, I envisioned His Bride, The Church, clothed in royalty.
I saw her, beholding her beauty, perfectly clean; spot- and winkle-free.
The perfect picture of royalty.
But I did not find ME.
Examining The Bride, I struggled to find myself.
Her beautifully curved lips that spoke of Christ were evidently not mine,
neither were her hands that healed and cared and touched lives.
Her beautiful feel that had gone about proclaiming the message of salvation looked nothing like mine.
Neither did her character that seemed totally refined,
nor her heart that unconditionally loved.
The Death of ME.
And so, as I stood, and sat and wondered.
I prayed that He would yet again give me a chance:
A moment to rectify my wrong, amend my ways, do right:
Have Him live and breath through me.
So that I too could be a part of His true and only Church.
Neither catholic, evangelical, reformed or pentecostal, but simply
His eternal, everlasting Bride.