Sorry it's been awhile. Things are really crazy at work right now. Because of this all I got is a simple quote a came across in Don Everts' work "God in the Flesh." He writes:
Jesus has always been beautiful. He is, after all, the image of the invisible God. God in the flesh. And seeing him clearly, staring at him and all that his life and death reveal, changes us. That's what the church has always been—simple folks who star at Jesus and are changed because of what they've seen. (Italics mine)
Being one who has a low ecclesiology this quote really hit home. We as the church are simply those who have been forgiven through the blood of Christ and are now left to star in amazement at this wonderful gift (Eph 3:16-21). As we stare in awe at this gift we are changed and inspired to share that message with others through love, service, and evangelism (1 John 4:19). When you really think about Christianity, the church, and discipleship are pretty simple things. Let's not lose sight of this. Let's just hang on to and share that old, old, story of Jesus Christ who loved us in our weakness.
I would like to finish with a quote from the book of Revelation. Here John is describing the church in the presence of God. His definition is surprisingly simple and Don Everts' quote reflects this simplicity. John writes:
Then one of the elders asked me, "These in white robes-- who are they, and where did they come from?" I answered, "Sir, you know." And he said, "These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore, "they are before the throne of God and serve him day and night in his temple; and he who sits on the throne will spread his tent over them. Never again will they hunger; never again will they thirst. The sun will not beat upon them, nor any scorching heat. For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; he will lead them to springs of living water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes." (Revelation 7:13-17 Italics mine)Even in eternity the core of our identity as the people of God are those who, "have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb." May your life and ministry confidently hold on to the fact that, "by the grace of God I am what I am" (1 Corinthians 15:10),,,