Updated: Aug 20, 2020
PHOTO: After a racial-discussion panel, a communion service in downtown Albany, New York.
The following is longer than usual, but not that long and I urge you to read to the end. Perhaps you'll give it a second or third reading, as well. Thank you. Robert J. LaCosta The Body of Christ’s Racial Courtship & Marriage That Can't Start With Sex
It was never intended for relationships to start with sex. Although that would be part of the natural inclination in the couple’s attraction, it would be far better if they knew who they were making love to. Would it not be more advantageous to be intimate with someone to whose heart you were already intimate with; that you would make love to the witty, caring, thoughtful, generous, intelligent, creative, strong, selfless and often opposite soul as well to his or her body? The sexual gratification in the bedroom would be the result of the intimacies formed over time. Musical scores don’t begin with crescendos or there would be no room for them to expand. The Body of Christ is given to us as a literal and metaphorical expression of communion, first from Jesus and then through the Apostle Paul. It Starts With The Realization of an Incompleteness; A Soulmate It would be unlikely that the various expressions of the church would be instantly wed to each other without goin’ a courtin’. Just like in relationships, there would be no intrinsic or even accidental desire for a mate unless that person had a drive to give themselves to something greater than oneself. It’s the heart-of-heaven longing to be wed to another soul; to take on his or her mind, body and soul…the search for a soulmate. Until The Body of Christ recognizes the incompleteness of its particular expression, background and preferences, it would be unlikely that my church or your church would seek a “mate.” This is not just one church pairing with an unlikely sister-church on the other end of town or the other side of the world. It’s much more than that. It’s the revelation that Christ is the head of his Body. Therefore, it would be unthinkable that we could be complete without ALL of the aspects of his personhood. That’s a shift for most of us. Some fortunate missionaries may have gotten glimpses of this as they've gotten to understand AND enjoy other cultures. Most of us have not. Only The Holy Spirit Can Give Us A Longing To Satisfy & Solve The Incompleteness of The Body of Christ as it Stands This shift could only be orchestrated by The Holy Spirit Himself as Jesus said, “[The Holy Spirit], the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father - will testify about me…he will guide you into all truth…he will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.” (John 15:26, John 16: The clincher is that Jesus says, “You must also testify [about me].” Here we see The Trinity working from the throne in perfect harmony as if to say, “Now, that you see what true unity looks like, do as we do.” How could we be “complete” if we are not to embrace The Trinity and The Trinity’s desire for us as the worldwide Body of Christ? Only after such acknowledgment could come a desire. Again, just as a man and a woman’s hormones ripen and almost nebulous-driven romantic desires bloom could they be ready to acknowledge they are, lightly put, “half-witted.” Only Now Can The Search Be On! Now, they begin their search or the search comes to them in the form of a soulmate. (It must be noted that those who never wed have this innate desire and, minus the physical, can be “spent” on Jesus.) The search, or deliberate attempt, begins only after the revelation of the need to search. There probably is no standard model that Christ will use in your life and that of your church. There are books, movements and “standard-bearers” (some self-proclaimed). But, as was said earlier, this must be a work of a convicted, driven person/church. That is when, to use the earlier analogies, a “soulmate” can be found. How To Begin Courtin' Is there a singular person or people or group or church where you can begin? I would urge you to start only after the aforementioned revelation of Christ’s headship is burned within you. Unity movements, ecumenical attempts and the most recent coming-to-a-city-near-you campaign or crusade may fall short or fall apart because the attendees may not have that desire to be wed under the auspices of the Head of the Church. That’s a recipe for divorce. And just like couples, there will be innumerable preferences that are almost unbearable. Like the marriage vow when we are united under Christ, we will be empowered to walk through the differences. And just like couples, there will be innumerable preferences that are almost unbearable. But we will stay the course because of a vow given when two hands and hearts are united by Christ’s hands. Picture Jesus taking the two hands and joining them together at a wedding ceremony. So, what would God have us do once this revelation is burned upon our hearts? As was earlier mentioned, this is the profound work of The Holy Spirit. It’s his job. He will not lead you to a counterfeit course or head you down a dead end. Thrust all of your hopes upon him.