the Church {a love letter}

You never were cool, but I liked your style:
flannel graphs, butter cookie tins and junior choir
solos less about perfection than presence.
Gifts offered a King (enthusiasm counted)
Love served warm and strange as potluck,
rhythms generous, comfortable and
radical in their simplicity

Deep and wide, Deep and wide, There's a fountain flowing deep and wiiiiiiiiide

Wasn't there, though?
A grace-well as big as our Lord

We're many kinds of people With many kinds of faces
All colors and all ages too From all times and places

That truth (along with the joy! joy! joy! joy!)
burrowed heart-deep and took root
The church is not a building The church is not a steeple
The church is not a resting place The church is a people

presbyterian, baptist, non-denominational, emergent, episcopal,
In barn or basement, chapel or church
at summer camp in the woods or atop the city,
we worshiped with the Body beautiful.
Your raiment varied and vibrant,
colorful as the members who shared our first Love

I am the Church You are the Church We are the Church together
All who follow Jesus All around the world
Yes we're the Church together

I'm not naive:  you are as damaged as you are lovely
Your sharp accusations stung, left me
gasping for breath.  Conditional
love at times stained my cheeks
But I'm no innocent, I know that.
My words wielded like daggers and
I've withheld grace, too
Unforgiveness is an ugly mistress
God, we're a wretched lot

But our imperfect love is velveteen real
surpassing what-if, should-have and didn't-you every day of the week

Community is hard. Love is harder
--and easier, too, somehow.  Half is showing up

At our best, you pointed me to the One who
holds us together, reconciling to
a Father who loves, the
creation which groans and
one another, that we may be healed

You knew my heart
the hard and wounded places, too
and loved me all the more

Our Love lights the darkness
never so hot or bright as when our gaze turns outward
Let's lay down arms, love
Take my hand and remember
the Hope to which we are called

{image source}

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