She is radiant, beloved, wreathed in beauty.
She is broken, tainted by the touch of another.
Her voice is raised in adoration of her One true love.
Her lying tongue dissembles, claiming falsehood as truth.
She only has eyes for her beloved.
She is inconstant in affections and her gaze wanders through the crowd.
Her heart is faithful, patient, welcoming and gentle.
Her attention is earned by the powerful, who use her for gain.
She is seen and known and loved. She is the Bride.
She is both the beloved, and the faithless. Inconstant, she craves power and trades love for recognition. But, He, knowing how to love, calls her with a still, small voice. He calls her to humility, to faithful service, to a life of sacrifice and unending love, of truth spoken to power, of days spent in the uplifting of those with no voice, no power and from whom nothing can be gained… except the Kingdom.
Today, in the midst of a country being torn apart, where, at times, it seems as though the very concept of human decency is at stake, I sit in a coffee shop. Alone. Preparing to teach on the Kingdom of God.
My heart is broken. I am grieving and yet hopeful. I am learning to see the Church, the Bride of Christ through His eyes. I am girding my heart about with the song of the beloved over his bride, his compromised, faithless bride, who has traded humble joyous trusting for power-hungry bargaining. I see, writ large in the pages of our Book, a God who pursues, a God who sees, a God who calls us into another way of meeting the challenges of this present age. A God for whom the meek, poor in spirit, welcomers, and servants are the ones who represent coming of the age to come.
I see a God who calls his Bride, though she has been faithless, to turn again to Him for The Way. I see a beautiful transformation in the people of God. I see, through His eyes, who we, his redeemed, are called to be. He calls us Beloved that we might love. He welcomes us that we may welcome. He restore us that we may be agents of restoration in the earth.
We are called to be at war with the powers of the age. We are to speak truth to power.
For we know the One who rules, we are called by His Name.
To be called a Christian, a Follower of Jesus, a Disciple is to embrace the Narrow Way. To engage our gospel imagination in the fight against evil – no matter its disguise.
Welcome to the War!