Thursday, February 14, 2008

The Church - Relationship

From The Shack (pg, 177 - 179 in part ) by William P. Young

"...Our final destiny is not the picture of Heaven that you have stuck in your head - you know, the image of pearly gates and streets of gold. Instead it's a new cleansing of this universe, so it will indeed look a lot like here."

"Then what's with the pearly gates and gold stuff?"

"That stuff, my brother," Jesus began, lying back on the dock and closing his eyea against the warmth and brightness of the day, "is a picture of me and the woman I'm in love with."

..."It is a picture of my bride, the Church: individuals who together form a spiritual city with a living river flowing through the middle, and on both shores trees growing with fruit that will heal the hurt and sorrows of the nations. And this city is always open, and each gate into it is made of a single pearl...." He opened one eye and looked at Mack. "That would be me!" ..."Pearls, Mack. The only precious stone made by pain, suffering and - finally - death."

...."You're talking about the church as this woman you're in love with; I'm pretty sure I haven't met her"..... "She's not the place I go on Sundays," Mack said more to himself,...."

"Mack, that's because you're only seeing the institution, a man-made system. That's not what I came to build. What I see are people and their lives, a living breathing community of all those who love me, not buildings and programs."

..."It's simple, Mack. It's all about relationships and simply sharing life. What we are doing right now - just doing this - and being open and available to others around us. My church is all about people and life is all about relationships. You can't build it. It's my job and I'm actually pretty good at," Jesus said with a chuckle.

For Mack these words were like a breath of fresh air! Simple. Not a bunch of exhausting work and long list of demands, and not the sitting in endless meetings staring at the backs of people's heads, people he really didn't even know. Just sharing life. "But, wait -"......

..."Mack, you don't need to have it all figured out. Just be with me......"

..."I don't create institutions - never have, never will."

"What about the institution of marriage?"

"Marriage in not an institution. It's a relationship."

1 comment:

Walking Church said...

That type of talk gets me in the game!

I doubt the early church got together to build anything; they simply enjoyed community and talked about the Groom (Jesus) their first love....they also helped to meet the practical needs of other Children in Christ in that community.

This aint rocket science. See you at the Gate Seldom found!