Recently, over the course of 8 days, I was in 4 different churches and church services. That’s not unusual for me as we live this itinerate life but every time I go out, I’m reminded again of the beauty of the Body of Christ.
The diversity of cultures, the diversity of a region, the diversity of ministry calling… just like I’m a brown-eyed girl who writes and my husband is a blue-eyed boy who preaches, each local church body is it’s own unique entity with it’s own unique mission. Yet, we are all part of the full Body of Christ and doing what we do for the cause of Someone much greater than any individual person or congregation.
The Commission the same but the methods and tools used sometimes very different. I don’t ‘fit’ in each Body the same as I do my local church family but when our Jesus is the same and the ultimate vision the same – there is still a place of belonging that I find.
I’m more easily aware of the presence of Holy Spirit when the worship is of my style but it doesn’t mean that Holy Spirit isn’t there and doing things when I’m not aware. The facilitating of the service, the way others’ are dressed, the way they greet each other (or not), all can make me feel like I’m back at my home church… or not. But even the times when I’m uncomfortable in a new surrounding, if I can sense that, these too, are lovers and followers of Jesus, I see beauty.
A Nebraska girl, part of a non-denominational, mid-sized church in a university and business community can fit right into a Swahili-speaking, African church in Dallas or a small country church in East Texas, when we worship the same God.
The beauty of the unique expression of Jesus through each local Body is awe-inspiring. We are made to be different – yet part of the Whole. I may always feel more ‘at home’ in my own local Body of believers but I think that’s the way it’s supposed to be. Many families, many expressions, many colors, many facets, many voices… yet all pointing to and magnifying the One who created it all, who created us all. Who is returning to Earth for His Bride – His Bride as a whole who WILL be without spot or wrinkle, but not because we make ourselves beautiful but because we are His and He is making us beautiful.
“Christ’s love makes the church whole. His words evoke her beauty.”
Ephesians 5:26 (The Message)