Off blog I'm trying to write up some thinking on how to love the church. Here's a little thought inspired by Luther and Thabiti Anyabwile amongst other, that contributes to the picture.
"Who then can value highly enough these royal nuptials? Who can comprehend the riches of the glory of this grace? Christ, that rich and pious Husband, takes as a wife a needy and impious harlot, redeeming her from all her evils and supplying her with all His good things."
The strange thing about church is that it can so often operate like any other social network. It can become a place where people who are like one another come to be with one another, united by their common class, status, age, income, language etc. The reality couldn't be further from that. Church is a supernatural community formed by the gospel. A community that requires the gospel to form it. When it looks like less than that will do then we're just papering over the cracks or have already excluded those who ought to be among us.
A church should be able to celebrate it's differences and diversity of personality and preferences, and yet say - though we are unlike one another, we are descendended from Adam and we are now part of the new humanity of Jesus. Though once objects of wrath today we are united to Christ. Once we were an "impious harlot", now being beautified together by Christ our great husband, rich in glory and grace. In view of Christ's love for the church, I want to be found in her number and to share his love for his bride. And by the power of the gospel I'm delighted to be working it all out in the company of Frontiers Church Exeter.
Adrian Warnock writes on loving the church