February 6, 2016
Every day in my devotions, I get to this line that says “Prayers for the church, others and myself.”
If I hit that line running, I tend to skip right to the end.
Interesting… Perhaps a bit narcissistic with the spiritual life, there buddy. Maybe it’s interesting, maybe not. I know what I need to get done each day. I know what I’m thinking about, wrestling with, what’s holding me back… so why shouldn’t I pray for what I already know could use it? Sometimes I do (don’t tell) and sometimes I pull back and go in order.
It’s that first bit that gets me thinking the most. Some days, I pray for all of Christianity and for doors to be opened both within and without so we can be the most effective… nah, the most loving Christ-followers possible, internally and externally. Sometimes I pray for my particular denomination, The Salvation Army. Sometimes I pray for the denominations of friends and every once in a while, for my college-years part-time denomination, the Church of the Nazarene. Some days, I pray specifically for leadership of the church, ALL of them. It’s a broad spectrum, but I figure working all of that out is still easier than keeping the universe going… God’s got it under control. Some days I pray for those that I work most closely with and for, even though that might be crossing lines into the “others” part.
Every day, I get to “the church” part and I have to think about it. While I appreciate the analytical mind I’ve been given, I’ve got to think that God may be calling me to move past those speed-bumps… I’ve got to think that God sees us all as the bride and the body of Christ and that I can, too. I’ve got to think that with all the schisms and fractures and protestations from over the years, He is still who He has always been and that He calls me not to a sect, a sub-culture or a segment… bit that He calls me, and all of us, “the church,” to follow more closely to Him, not our own ideas… that He calls us to seek more deeply His kingdom here and now, and not our own… that He calls all of us, together, to live and love outrageously for Him.
Whatever we wear, wherever we go, however we approach Him, we are His. We belong. We are redeemed. We are the body. We are the bride.