A Letter to the Church

Dear Church,

I have loved you and served you for a long time.  Like any love relationship, we’ve had our ups and downs.  Along the way, I’ve gotten to know you pretty well.  And truth be told, you’re complicated.  I’m grateful that I’ve had the opportunity to see and engage so many different sides of you.  Although sometimes I’ve got to wonder if you’ve got dissociative identity disorder because of the many, many personalities I encounter.

I keep reminding myself that each part has a purpose.  I keep thinking of that metaphor of a body and how Paul said that one part cannot say to another part, “I have no need of you.”  It helps me when I want to ignore or complain about some of your parts.

One of the key reasons that we are still in a love relationship is because of Jesus’ prayer.  You remember right?  Where he prayed that all the parts of the church would be one – would be unified.  Jesus said that would impact what the world would see.  The unity of the church is directly tied to the witness of the church.  Now clearly, Jesus realized that with so many different and complicated parts, such unity wouldn’t be sameness.  I’m quite sure that he wasn’t praying for uniformity.  It seems that Jesus, in his Jewish tradition, was quite comfortable with questioning and grappling and struggle to seek truth as a vital part of faith.