Why I Love You, Church.

why i love you, church Church. Some cringe at the word.

Church. Some squeal with authentic joy at the word.

Church. Some change the subject immediately, skirting any and all awkwardness, hoping to protect their opinions and not step on toes.

Church. Some know it for what it is and hate it. Some know it for what it is and love it.

Church is messy and broken, full of a bunch of misfits. Misfits wandering this earth just like every other human. Church is full of broken stories.

But what I love about Corvallis Church and The Church and the Bride of Christ -- the people who make up the church -- I love that that is the place where those messy-misfits {much like myself} and those broken stories meets beautiful redemption. Painful forgiveness. Authenticity and genuine love meeting the most crumbled-to-pieces parts of humanity. I love that I can walk through the doors on Sunday morning to the place we gather for worship and know in my bones that I am deeply loved, wholly accepted, and completely covered in His grace. I love that I can waltz through the doors overwhelmed with joy because I am forgiven, though I do not deserve it. I am loved though I am terrifyingly unlovable. I love that the humans I get to call "my church" are confronted with the same Truth: we are all broken and messy-misfits, yet we are all identified as God's beloved children and that is the one thing that brings us worth. That is our common ground. That is where our identities lie and our strength is found. Together, our redemption lies in the Truth that we are not enough and He is more than enough.

We hurt each other, too often. We say stupid things, yes. We aren't as committed as we should be, correct. We get on each others nerves, all the time. We are horrifically imperfect, absolutely. We are human.

--> We are unified by His blood and His grace, reminded that we are each broken carrying baggage from this messed up world, and we are covered under His wings of Love. Love. Love that is so patient with us, forever kind, and completely un-rude. Love that hopes the best for us, believes the best, and endures all things. Love that is selfless and even jealous of our love. We are unified by Love, and Love only comes from God Himself.

Corvallis Church, baptism Sunday April 2014

Corvallis Church. Imperfectly, we love each other so well. We share in one another's burdens. We pursue friendship through honesty. We enjoy just hanging out together. We love each other so selflessly and so sacrificially and it is only by the power of His grace. Church family, you ask hard questions, you embrace the mysterious God we serve, you seek His Truth and you desire to love this city well. It is beautiful to see you sharing your resources, your homes, your hearts with one another, and then pointing to Jesus.

I am missing my beautiful church family this morning. They are even celebrating a few EXCITING baptisms today. Though I am beyond blessed, humbled even, to be in Canada, there is nothing quite like a Sunday morning with Corvallis Church. You guys amaze me. The adventure this church plant has taken me on has been one that I'll forever remember. The healing that has happened through the adventure of this church plant is unexplainable, and the growth I have experienced has been painful in the best ways possible. You love each other intentionally, and Jesus is so obvious. Corvallis Church, I love you. I miss you. I look forward to worshiping with you next week.