The Church is the bride of Christ, and she is an amazing beauty. Her teeth may be crooked, but her smile is sexier than Hell. Her eyes are so bright you never notice her crow’s feet; and, though she wears too much perfume it’s still nice when you get close.

On Sunday morning, the church gathers for worship, prays for people to be healed, educates her family in the way of Jesus, studies the scriptures, and sings. Sometimes the church takes a special offering—for a pizza delivery person, for instance, so we can knock their socks off; or a ministry rescuing victims of sex trafficking, so we can pay for their rehab. We welcome former enemies with open arms. We rejoice with penitent prostitutes. When a little boy with a terminal genetic condition comes in a wheelchair, all hands are on deck to bless him, pray for him, and usher him into the Kingdom of heaven. We broadcast God’s love to the world.

Church is where we hear about cancer and heart attacks, counsel rape victims and their families, walk through recovery with the mentally ill, and provide solace to those involved with failed adoptions. It’s church that helps us with family—both coping with our existing families and providing new families when we have none.

Church is incredible.

Adapted from Then. Now. Next.: A Biblical vision of the church, the kingdom, and the future.