The Church is merely a string connecting heaven and earth. I might have designed it as a stout steel cable or a strong chain for its task is urgent and many would seek to cut it or stretch to breaking.
Yet, the Church needs to be a light string so the breath of heaven can lift it from the earth, where God’s people might dance with angels. But it must also remain connected firmly to the earth, reminding people of God’s constancy in the midst of struggle and strife.
The Church links people together so some might grasp firmly on to the past with long-held beliefs anchoring it deeply and solidly in tradition. The Church also links people who dare to dance among the angels, inspiring others to ascend to new heights. But mostly the Church needs people to connect with others for we cannot both dance upon the winds and hold firmly to the rock.
Throughout history those who dance upon the wind have teased those who cling to tradition. While those who keep the string firmly anchored warn dancers of dangers should they stray to far from where the Church has always believed.
Mostly the Church needs people in the middle, holding hand with dancers and with anchors. People more solidly grounded and people daring to venture into the winds of culture where they might connect with those who have ventured too far and been blown away.
Fortunately, the Church has many strands, connecting people in many ways, so individuals might dance in one dimension, yet remain near to those who solidly anchored in another. Interconnections within the Church forms a web connecting dancers with anchors, connecting those who dare with those who warn. So that should a strand stretch too thin and snap, another keeps the dancers from floating away until a new strand can form new connections.
The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” On the contrary, the members of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and those members of the body that we think less honorable we clothe with greater honor, and our less respectable members are treated with greater respect; whereas our more respectable members do not need this.
— 1 Corinthians 12:21-24 (NRSV)
Where are you in the web that we call Church?