Last night, I was given a picture that showed why the Church, in its seemingly screwed up state, is as beautiful as it was before. As I was sitting around a group of Senior High leaders, I saw the different places that most of our leaders are in. I saw the stories that had been their reality over the last year. And through all of the "stuff," these leaders have continually invested their lives into the lives of students. This gave me a picture of the Body of Christ that I don't think I have had be made so obvious before.
Ephesians 5:22ff contains Paul's plead with wives and husbands to live in marriage the way that Christ lived, and lives, in marriage with the Church. His Word describes the way that He is making His Bride beautiful:
"Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish." -Ephesians 5:25-27
The Body of Christ is beautiful because it is a testament to the way that Christ is loving His Bride by continually uniting her together and presenting her as unblemished before himself.