My church or The Church?
Ray Ortlund at Christ is Deeper Still writes:
“My passion isn’t to build up my church. My passion is for God’s Kingdom.”
Ever heard someone say that? I have. It sounds large-hearted, but it’s wrong. It can even be destructive.
Suppose I said, “My passion isn’t to build up my marriage. My passion is for Marriage. I want the institution of Marriage to be revered again. I’ll work for that. I’ll pray for that. I’ll sacrifice for that. But don’t expect me to hunker down in the humble daily realities of building a great marriage with my wife Jani. I’m aiming at something grander.”
If I said that, would you think, “Wow, Ray is so committed”? Or would you wonder if I had lost my mind?
If you care about the Kingdom, be the kind of person who can be counted on in your own church. Join your church, pray for your church, tithe to your church, participate in your church every Sunday with wholehearted passion.
We build great churches the same way we build great marriages — real commitment that makes a positive difference every day.
I know he’s using “passion” in a way OrthoFolks don’t. But his point is good…
Christianity without the Church isn’t Christian. Nobody is conformed to the image of Christ in isolation from common prayer and work with the body of Christ. And that body is found here in the specific place and time where believers, bishop and Eucharist come together.
The amount of work, inconvenience, and sacrifice we’re willing to put into worship, parish life, developing disciples, and doing love to folks here in the parish, points to how much the Church actually matters to us.