A letter to the Church

Dear Church,

There have been seasons when I've been disenfranchised with you. There have been moments when I've wanted to throw in the towel, sign the divorce papers, and call it quits. There were times when I was told I no longer belonged because I didn't have the right belief system. There were times when I've been called "anti-church." Maybe I was. There were times when people questioned my relationship with Jesus or my eternal salvation. There were times when I wondered if they were right. I'm not going to lie, I'm still a little bit wounded. I'm still grieving. If I ever lose my temper or say something harsh, that's probably why.

But what I do know is this: I can't pull myself away from you. It's like we're bound at the waist. I'm fascinated by you. I love seeing how much you've evolved over the years, yet how much you've stayed the same. I love your diversity. Observing how different people of Jesus feel they are called to live out their faith is one of my favorite things. It's a bloody, nasty, glorious journey you've been on. Despite it all, I still believe you're the hope of the world. I still believe God is wedding heaven and Earth through you. I still believe in the message of Jesus, though I see it through a different lens than I once did. I still hold onto the hope that God is in the business of reconciling and making all things new. I still believe that Holy Spirit baptizes us day after day, filling, and empowering us. If anything, I believe all of these things more than I have in a while.

Cynicism and doubt still loom. I try not to avoid them, but rather when they come, I allow them to run their course. Sometimes they have to swallow me up and spit me out before I can resume life as normal. I'm no longer afraid of them. They are simply a part of the journey. Like the cloud of depression, I can sense them from a mile away, but always try to remind myself that they won't last forever.

It's inevitable that I will probably hurt you again and you'll do likewise. We'll cross that bridge when we get there, and together repent of the things we have done and left undone. There will probably be moments when I don't, at my core, believe everything I say I do, but still we'll say together "we believe." When my faith is dwindling, someone else's abundant faith will compensate for mine, and vice versa.

All this to say, I'm not entirely sure of many things these, but one thing I'm sure of is this: I love you.

"Gracious Father, we pray for your holy Catholic Church. Fill it with all truth, in all truth with all peace. Where it is corrupt, purify it; where it is in error, direct it; where in any thing it is amiss, reform it. Where it is right, strengthen it; where it is in want, provide for it; where it is divided, reunite it; for the sake of Jesus Christ your Son our Savior. Amen." (BCP)


LGH