Expanding on yesterday's post of church as community, church also is like a marriage. In today's American society, we expect our marriages to satisfy all needs. They are the culmination of romantic ideals that come to fruition. We will not want after marrying the right person and waiting for that person to have sex with.
Well, look around, it doesn't work like that. Nor is it supposed to. Marriage is a partnership. A beautiful one, at that. However, it is not meant to satisfy all needs and definitely not all the time. One person simply cannot do that. We need community. We need other people to satisfy some needs. And that is not only okay, it is good.
I realized I have approached church organizations similarly. I expect the church (little "c" meaning the local organizations, big "C" meaning the universal Church body) to meet all my spiritual needs. Why would or could any human organization do that? Just as our life partners are not perfect, the church is imperfect.
It will meet many needs, but there will be areas where it is not a good match. And that is not only okay, but it is good. It is an opportunity for the church to push and challenge us and for us to push and challenge the church. My only hope is for the churches to be open to being pushed and challenged. This process is the key.
We also need to connect with the larger Church outside of our smaller church. This is another good reason for the churches to be imperfect. It leads us to connect to others. This allows for a cross-fertilization of ideas and worship. We need friends outside of our churches. This, too, will help push and challenge us as we also push and challenge others.
As is the purpose of this blog, that process will lead us closer and closer to Christ and Truth. It can be tiring. I can admit I long for a church in which I fit perfectly. It hasn't happened yet. It probably never will. And that's probably a good thing...