The New Testament shows a Church as beautiful as it is messy. But this is good! Real relationship is messy. It takes sacrificing our preferences for others, suffering with others, and being honest with others even when they don't want to hear it. We can't love each other with our whole hearts if we keep parts of our hearts locked away for fear of rejection or separation. This is often a problem, though, for American Christians where consumerism frequently lapses into our view of church. If it doesn't suit our preferences we will go elsewhere. How much more when heated conflicts and passionate feelings come up? Admittedly, embracing messy relationship can be daunting. But it's the redemptive work of Christ in the mess that makes the Church beautiful!
This is our focus in this series on 2 Corinthians introduced here. Perhaps no book demonstrates commitment to the messy Church more than this, where instead of running away from such a messy church, Paul deals with their problems head on with the Cross. Instead of leaning on himself he points to Jesus believing Him to take this messy Corinthian church, and make it beautiful.