My favourite memory of 2016 comes from the Queen’s Birthday Party last June. I remember it fondly because the church family served our community and one another; and the event became a delightful, living picture of the body functioning beautifully.

In the New Testament both Paul and John depict the worldwide church as a beautiful bride waiting for her bridegroom – radiant, holy and blameless. I’ve always struggled with the idea of being part of the ‘bride’ of Christ. In the New Testament both Paul and John depict the worldwide church as a beautiful bride waiting for her bridegroom – radiant, holy and blameless. I’ve always struggled with the idea of being part of the ‘bride’ of Christ – yet this remains a clear image of just how much Jesus loves his church. Also of how significant it is that individuals within the church actively and daily co-operate with Christ in order to become lovely, both for his sake and for one another.

At church we’ve been studying Queen Esther. She was prescribed a year-long course of beauty treatments and dietary management before she was even allowed to meet her King. Now to me, a year sounds like a very long time to be pre-occupied solely with beauty, but I’m also keenly aware that I’ve already been permitted 40 times that period to co-operate with Jesus on my inner beauty – and boy, is there still a lot of work left to do.

The Lord once told his servant Samuel that “God looks at the heart” because Christ wants his bride to be beautiful on the inside and of course on one future day He will complete His beautifying work. But even today He’s looking for us, by His Spirit, to start working on the project to become His Beautiful Church.

  • Because that’s what Christ merits.
  • Because that’s the condition humanity was created for.
  • Because inner beauty is deeply attractive to those outside the church.
  • And because it has an incalculable impact
    on others in the body of Christ.

Yours, Pastor David