I quite liked this little illustration about the imperfection and glory of the church from Andrew Cameron’s ‘Joined Up Life’:
To live ‘in Christ’ is like being invited by a brilliant footballer – say, a Beckham or a Ronaldo – to join his team. I’m actually a fat slob and so possibly are you. Next to us are a bunch of other wheezers, geezers, whingers and the attention-deficit disordered. He scores all the goals and wins all the matches. Meanwhile, we, his team, zigzag around him gibbering in circles, or just lie listlessly on the ground. Yet he allows us to share his glory.
As a member of this team, your body and its ingrained habits are against you; some days, you just want to eat and watch telly again. Yet, over time, his way rubs off. You eventually learn to run the ball in his direction. His tactics and moves start to interest you. Bit by bit, you move as he moves. And although everyone knows you’re still you, you start to look like a footballer. According to the Bible, ‘Christian ethics’ is only the response of the team of misfits to its awesome captain – the responses of those who really don’t have a clue, participating alongside someone who really, really does.
Tamie Davis is an Aussie living in Tanzania, writing at meetjesusatuni.com.