There are some people in this world who are an open book. Despite my affinity for reading, I am not one of them. As old roommate (whom I miss dearly) once quipped, I am “full of mystery and intrigue.” Being self-revelatory isn’t my strong suit; being vulnerable even less so. And yet I never considered myself someone who was close-mouthed until I had it pointed out to me repeatedly about a year ago. I think its because I’m so commonplace and uninteresting that I assume people feel like they know me. As with so many things in life, I was wrong.
Recently, I heard the Church called the “mystery of the ages.” To be fair, I merely jotted down the reference and now can not remember the context it was uttered in. So it could be that its from a famous quotation and I’m hopelessly pillaging another’s idea. (A good researcher would Google that – but I’m not at work, so its not my responsibility.:-) ) I thought the description was apt. As someone who’s been questioned regarding their commitment to church, I find it hard to explain why I am so regularly participate in corporate worship. It’s especially hard to convey to people who are familiar with attending church but have never been a part of the Church. All they see is the social benefits and the warm fuzzies that they receive, which like all good feelings are bound to dissipate when strife enters in. For me, the warm fuzzies and the social benefits are secondary. There is something mysterious that happens when hearts turned to God jointly proclaim Who He is. There is something unexplainable about the fact that the Church has lasted despite its missteps and misdeeds. The wonder of the Church can’t be captured in a thirty-minute “how to” on life (what many sermons have succumbed to in recent years) because the mystery of the Church with a capital C isn’t contained in any four walls, its found in the hearts that are inexplicably joined as members of Christ’s family and in the majesty of coming before the throne as one.
I may never be able to adequately explain it. But, as with so many things that are beautiful, I don’t need to in order to appreciate it.