Monday, 15 June 2009

My soul yearns, even faints for the courts of the Lord...

I expect that it's partly to do with the fact that both husband and children are currently away from home (children at school and husband on a work trip with colleagues for 8 days; all in the UK) that having just finished Frank Viola's new book, 'From Eternity to Here' fills me with an even intenser longing for regular getting together with 'ekklesia' family around the Lord.

I was at home yesterday morning, listening to all the rest of the house getting ready to go out to their service in town, hearing the footsteps running downstairs and the front door banging so hard that the wall in our living-room shook.
I seriously thought, Shall I ask to join them? Or is there any other place I can go to where I can really be together with all-out-for-Jesus-and-only-want-to-worship-Him-as-our-Head people?
This sounds incredibly self-centred, I know. Perhaps it is. Perhaps it's because it's 2.51 in the morning and I can't sleep (nor can someone upstairs, from the steps going back and forth across the ceiling) that all these thoughts are going round my head. I only know that I am longing to be together with worshippers; in His Temple. Meaning by that, not a place, not a service, but in the regular company of those who adore Him and have lost themselves in His Presence; and not simply in the fact that we meet together around Jesus regularly, but that we share our lives together...

Psalm 84
How lovely is your dwelling place, O LORD Almighty!
My soul yearns, even faints for the courts of the LORD; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God. Even the sparrow has found a home and the swallow a nest for herself where she may have her young - a place near your altar, O LORD Almighty, my King and my God.

v.10 Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere...

The Body of Christ is the Temple - where two or three are gathered together, there is Jesus in the midst of them... it's not about organised services led and controlled by a few from the front where the rest of the congregation sit passively like consumer clones waiting for the next regurgitated commercial milk product from the pastor's no doubt sincere, but misguided lips; where fellowship at best is a nice chat over coffee (with or without milk) after the meeting...

I am longing to be together with believers who seriously want to live near each other and share their lives together; who are open and vulnerable with each other; who are not afraid to be real and honest, especially when they mess up. I long for shared life with people who will love beyond the point of knowing each other at their worst and won't just drop you when you don't share their opinions; people for whom relationship is more important than religion and 'their interpretation of truth'; people who see Jesus in each other before they see the human frailties we all have and who are prepared to love beyond disagreement; who put the call of Jesus to love the spiritual family before even the natural family; to love Truth before even the best of the good.

Some might say that I should go and attend a church (meaning the Sunday Club) and stop griping. No-one's perfect and no gathering will be perfect once I'm there anyway. I know that. That's not what I mean. It's just that I've seen something; something which won't leave my heart and is such a burden, that it burns.
I've seen Who the church is. Her picture won't leave my inner vision. I experienced her as a young believer at university in England 24 years ago, and 18 years ago here in Germany, but after things became organised here, she faded away. Her memory is etched permanently on my heart, though. Like the verse which says, 'Taste and see that the Lord is good'. I've tasted the Lord in His Body and I've been spoiled for anything less. I am in no way denigrating the efforts of those sincere believers who work so hard in their churches serving God and Christians. They are doing the best they know. But that's not the Life I know that can be lived. Viola's book sums it up beautifully.

No comments:

Post a Comment