Loving the Church...

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A friend of mine was commenting recently on my love for the church. It put me in mind of when and where I learned that love.

It was twelve years ago at the church Rob Rayburn serves in Tacoma, Washington. After a year or two attending Faith Presbyterian, I’d begun to be drawn into the life of the community. In my private devotions, I’d been meditating on Paul’s words in Ephesians 1:18 and they were striking home. That’s where Paul prays that the Ephesians will know "what are the riches of the glory of [God’s] inheritance in the saints.” The saints are full of riches. This is the Church.

For me, these riches were no abstraction. They were the riches of patience, kindness, long-suffering, love, and on and on; riches in the people I took for granted each week. God had put those riches in them through His Spirit.

I had never had much respect for the men and women who made up the churches I'd been in, but now it became clear...

how highly God prized them and I started wanting to prize them too. So I began to pray about it.

One Sunday I was walking toward the communion table with brothers and sisters walking behind and ahead of me—the usual. Some, coming back from the table toward their seats, smiled at me or put a hand on my shoulder as they went by. Again, the usual. But then for a few moments I had the sensation that the people around me were carrying me along.

It was true. They were carrying me and they had been for years. Not only them, but all of the brothers and sisters I had taken for granted. We were one body, the body of Christ.

As for the saints who are in the earth, They are the majestic ones in whom is all my delight. (Psalm 16:3)