Thursday, October 21, 2004

the church

I read this tonight before going to bed. It was so relevant and sharp that I wanted to share it.

The Church, God's People
"As Jesus was one human person among many, the Church is one organization among many. And just as there may have been people with more attractive appearances than Jesus, there may be many organizations that are a lot better run than the Church. But Jesus is the Christ appearing among us to reveal God's love, and the Church is his people called together to make his presence visible in today's world." Henri Nouwen

It seems as though there were many expectations of the coming Messiah that Jesus "apparently" didn't live up to. The people of Israel assumed he would be a certain way. They assumed he needed to be King in order to rule. They assumed he needed military power to have power in the world. They assumed he would provide material riches rather than eternal ones.

After reading this passage from Henri Nouwen's book "Bread for the Journey," it dawned on me that the Church has similar expectations place on it. As the Body of Christ in the world, we do not escape the shadow of these false expectations. And we also do not escape the call to be as Jesus was in the world.


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