I’ve never heard of the song, but I love the lyrics!  (X) and I were out last week and we talked quite a bit about different issues, but one was loving and adoring and defending the Church. We both feel we are doing that more and more. I would say we are learning to love the Church. You might say (in an evangelical zeal) that we are “falling in love” with her.

The language is not cloying in this instance because the analogy is of course, biblically speaking, that of the marriage relationship. It’s because by “Church” I don’t mean Jesus and the Holy Spirit. I mean his people (the communion of Saints) and the gathering place where Word and Sacrament are rightly preached and administered and where the presence of Christ dwells with us in these Holy Mysteries (as our Anglican tradition calls them)!

I really believe getting confirmed has changed my mind greatly about this.  Church isn’t a bad word for me.  It is a great word because it means all the TRUE believers together, even if the weeds have grown up with them. But I love Fr. David and Fr. Mike. I love our deacons. I love our sacraments. I love our Traditions. I love my fellow believers! I love the reasonableness of the ancient faith. I love it all, and I want more of it all!  And I realize that wanting more of his Church is not wanting less of Christ. I used to think these things a distraction from just the pure presence of Christ in prayer or bible study.  But I realize that the presence of Christ (and the Holy Spirit) more purely dwells in *his* Church among all of the ordained instruments of the Church I have mentioned!  That is why God gave them to us! So it is not an unholy distraction to love the sacraments and traditions and hierarchy and people of the Church, etc. To love these things just is to love Christ!  Alleluia!  Glory to God in the highest!