Thursday, December 13, 2018

Mother Church

Behold, Lord: for I am thy servant, I am thy servant, and the son of thine handmaid: thou hast broken my bonds.
Ps. 116:16 

In seminary, a professor once had us write a brief essay in answer to the question, "Are you a little Christ?" I have thought about that often since then, and the answer has always been both Yes and No.

No, I am not God Incarnate and Savior of the world. But Yes, I hope that I am by the Savior anointed (and christ and messiah both mean anointed) to share the saving word. While Calvin had interpreted this psalm to be David's affirmation of unconditional election, and I had always thought of it in reference to Jesus' relationship to his heavenly Father and earthly mother, I think it's also quite possible for a Christian to think of it in terms of his or her relationship to the church.

The church—Christ's bride and God's servant—is, indeed, our mother. And through mother church we are born into God's service. As I meditate on the little Christ in the manger this Christmas, maybe I might dare think of myself as a little christ, son of God's servant the church, freed by God's power and love to proclaim the good news of salvation to all.

Thank you for those you have chosen to serve you through the ages, Lord. Thank you for Christ, born of your handmaid Mary. And thank you that, having been born into your servant church, I, too, am commissioned to carry your word to the nations. In his Name who taught me to pray...