Monday, October 02, 2006

The Church Triumphant

Matthew 26:34-35 (New International Version)
New International Version (NIV)
Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society
34"I tell you the truth," Jesus answered, "this very night, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times."
35But Peter declared, "Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you." And all the other disciples said the same.

I’ve read the account of Jesus’ last supper many times, and if I focused on the theme of betrayal, I would have thought of the obvious candidates -- Judas, or maybe Peter. Today I noticed the small sentence that follows Peter’s declaration that he would die rather than disown Jesus: “And all the other disciples said the same.” All of the disciples declared their loyalty, but all of them scattered, as Jesus predicted they would, under pressure.

Isn’t this a picture of the Church? I know it is of me personally. Loving Christ, spending time in his presence, yet sometimes getting it all so wrong; misunderstanding what seems so clear in retrospect, overconfident and sometimes neglecting the discipline of prayer in which is protection and direction.

Yet amazingly, Jesus chose these men, he chose the Church and he chose us, to impact the world; passionate and poor, stumbling and bumbling -- and yet somehow, in spite of our weakness, filled with his glory!

Lord, shine through your church. Be glorified in our weakness, but don’t let us stay in babyhood -- bring us to maturity; let your image be formed in us corporately and as individuals!

Ephesians 5:25-27 (New Living Translation)
New Living Translation (NLT)
Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright © 1996, 2004 by Tyndale Charitable Trust. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers.

25And you husbands must love your wives with the same love Christ showed the church. He gave up his life for her 26 to make her holy and clean, washed by baptism and God's word.27 He did this to present her to himself as a glorious church without a spot or wrinkle or any other blemish. Instead, she will be holy and without fault.

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