Unless you are completely allergic to Windows, you may be familiar with this picture:
This picture is preloaded on every Windows XP machine. It is called ‘bliss’. When I see it, I want to crawl through my computer screen and run through that field. I want to lay in that grass and look at the clouds and think about nothing. Unless your soul is dead, you probably have similar longings. It is simply a beautiful snapshot of someplace I would often rather be — especially when working on Windows XP. (That’s not actually true…I just thought that Mac users would appreciate it.)
I’ve made several entries, including the last one, entitled “What doe church look like?” I think this picture should be entitled “What should the church look like?” After the quote I posted below, Lesslie Newbigin goes on to describe how the church is a glimpse of what is to come. The Kingdom of God is here now, but not yet in all its fullness. The Church is a portrait of the Kingdom. It is here in this world to give a glimpse of what God has in mind. Just as this picture compels me to frolic on a grassy knoll (perhaps not the best description 🙂 ), so the church should pull people toward the Kingdom.
This is best evident in Acts 2:42-47. Right after the Spirit of God fills them, the church begins to live life as God planned — life in the Kingdom of God. Never in this passage does it say that they were actively participating in what we would now call evangelism, but yet it closes by saying that “The Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. They were simply being the church, and giving a glimpe of the kingdom, and the people who saw it wanted it.
No church needs to be perfect…nor will any church ever be. But the Church exists to give this world a glimpse of something so beautiful they must have it.