So WHY does Jesus LOVE his church? “I love her because she is humble and unassuming. I love the way she bears her ordeals and sufferings and never turns on me in anger.
She wears her sorrows with dignity and I turn that dignity into bright jewels that embroider her garments of righteousness. She is attacked and walled in by her foes. Loneliness and depression bang on her doors and demand her life but she will not relent in her faithfulness to me.
Taunters mock her simplistic faith and hate her ‘uneducated’ ignorance. Yet rather than strike back with righteous fury she turns the other cheek and chooses not to retaliate. She bears their ridicule, causing some to repent of their evil stupidity while others become even more aggressive towards her. But still she does not flinch or waver in her loyalty towards me or her refusal to strike back at her enemies in any other way than to try and reach their hearts in the hope of saving them from the judgement that is to come.
Why do I LOVE my Church? When the troubles of this world overwhelm her she comes running to me for comfort. She does not accuse me of bringing these troubles upon her or demands their removal. She knows that I am all powerful yet she chooses to trust me instead and says “Whatever comes my way Lord, help me to remain faithful to you to the end”. And all the time I keep sewing in the precious jewels into her garments of righteousness and my bride is becoming more beautiful so that I weep for her beauty.
What is being sown in suffering and hardship is being reaped in everlasting beauty that will shine for all eternity. All of creation is astounded at the beauty that is being created. They note that she is like me, she reflects my beauty and they say “At last the groom has a bride who is worthy of him!” All of creation is ecstatically celebrating the wedding, thrilled with the joy of the coming together of groom and bride. For so long the bride has been prepared and at last the day has come when the Creator sees the satisfaction of his work. She is the bride with whom He will spend eternity and he will endlessly delight in her beauty.
The bride replies she is speechless at the intensity of your love. She cannot fathom how the Awesome One can take such delight in one like her. You have laid her bare and all her thoughts and aspirations are naked before you. Even with such wonderful utterances over her she grows not proud but instead becomes even more enthralled, more captivated, more desperate to love you.
She sat in a smelly room at the end of a hard day and you washed her feet. She will never forget this. She will never forget the day when she was fallen and weeping in the darkness of sin. You came to her in your purity and broke her heart. She saw love as it really is; she perceived your perfection and shrank back in the knowledge of her own filth. “Go away from me Lord, for I am a sinful man” she begged. Yet no words of condemnation were upon your lips and she could not understand this until the comprehension dawned that the desire of God to love is greater than his anger.
With trembling arms she reached out to you and you embraced the dirt and breathed in the disgusting stench. She didn’t know that the anger would have to be satisfied in some other way. And the question remains that if she knew the pathetic outstretching of her trembling arms would lead to the pathetic outstretching of your trembling arms upon a cross, would she still have sought to save herself?
She shudders at this and simply replies “I claim no strength within me and offer nothing of value other than I live to love my Saviour and that his strength is my strength. I have no interest in searching myself for value for my value is in him. My soul is captivated by his beauty and there my gaze will lay satisfied for evermore.”