The Church: Why It Matters
This is a guest post by Sara Malak
In a world in which we are constantly bombarded with a need to be and to do, where we are frequently asked “what do you do? what do you want to be?” We seem to have lost a clear vision of what we are here for.
In the midst of the noise of trying to figure out who we want to be and what we must become, we hear a church bell ring, a symphony of praise, and a gathering of people like you and me. We have joined them many times but in the busyness of all the running around and our sweeping thoughts we did not notice what was happening, our senses could not be still, could not behold the great and awesome Presence before us.
Other times we were too busy all together – too busy trying to be busy – to take off our shoes, walk on holy ground, and enter into the divine place in which the Divine offers Himself. Consequently we have hindered the body we are part of from being whole and unshaken.
You see this great hostility that lies between the world and the church, as though the church were somehow pulling us away from moving forward and the world pushing us towards becoming something or someone, is a lie, it’s a lie that we have chosen to believe and commit our lives to living, but it is in striving to live that lie that we have silenced Truth. Since ‘Satan is a liar and the father of it’ (John 8:44) and ‘he who is of the devil has no part in Him’ (John 14:30) the more we pursue that lie the more we are left lifeless.
We are not here to ‘move forward’ to somehow be the masters of our destiny, or to ‘save’ the world. Indeed I cannot even help myself, let alone be of use to the world.
That is where the secret lies. The church is a gathering of people who have dared to step away from that lie and allowed themselves to be useless for a moment, a people who are not afraid to know and see that they are broken, wounded, and lifeless. They come as one body and partake of one Loaf. Here they know there is no special ‘use’ to them, you do not receive a bigger portion because you are particularly useful, no my dear you receive all that is offered, you receive the fullness of Life, you receive Him who is Life, simply because you have come. You have come with a heart open to receive and not an ego too puffed up to believe it is in need.
Pour out your entire ego O my soul that the uncontainable may find room in that small heart of yours. Come knowing that your uselessness is not despised – it is welcome! It is welcome and it is given to stand in heaven on earth, where the Angels come down and we ascend, where the heavenly and earthly unite, and we stand before the only One who was and is and is to come.
Ephesians 2:10 says we are God’s workmanship. Workmanship or masterpiece in Greek translates to poiēma or poem. We are God’s poem. What is a poem? Dare I say it – it is a useless thing! It is a beautiful, soulful, completely and utterly useless thing. In the language of today’s hustling and bustling world, things that are of no practical use are minimized and eliminated. But do you realize how much beauty we miss out on? You are God’s poem, He delights in you, he takes pleasure in you, he was thinking of you before you even came to be, He loves you and remains to adore you.
And to commune with His precious poem, to meet with you in a real and intimate way, He offers you His flesh and blood that you may have a share and inheritance with Him and his family, the saints who have pleased Him since the beginning. So that you can continue to live your life each day not believing the lie and striving to be something but living bravely and faithfully as the flesh and blood of Christ. So that the sound of that church bell ringing may be the sound we hear when you walk by reminding us we are on holy ground and so that your whole life may be a symphony of praise, that Christ may be seen in you, that pure precious temple in which he dwells.
The Church, why then does it matter? It matters because you matter; you are a beautiful useless gratuitous being who is called to make Christ incarnate in everything you do; you are the Church.
A prayer: Lord, as my heart needs infinite washing and cleansing that it may be whiter than snow so does my soul need consistent partaking of the heavenly feast of Love and banquet of joy to fill the deep hunger in me. I have come as poor and needy, I have come as one who is nothing that you may be everything. I believe that I am your beautiful poem though I see no beauty in me I know that you make all things new and can make beauty out of ashes. Deep deep down in me there you lie patiently knocking that I may open the door for to you ignite my whole heart, soul, and being with the Divine fire of your presence. Heal me that I may open, wash me that I may purify and see you, love me that I may love you.
Check out Part I