A vision of the gathered church

Over at Emmanuel Church, Mercer Island, I found this excerpt from a novel I read some years ago by Wendell Berry.  I share it with you because it's good.

From Jayber Crow: A Novel, by Wendell Berry

My vision of the gathered church that had come to me… had been replaced by a vision of the gathered community. What I saw now was the community imperfect and irresolute but held together by the frayed and always fraying, incomplete and yet ever-holding bonds of the various sorts of affection. There had maybe never been anybody who had not been loved by somebody, who had been loved by somebody else, and so on and on… My vision gathered the community as it never has been and never will be gathered in this world of time, for the community must always be marred by members who are indifferent to it or against it, who are nonetheless its members and maybe nonetheless essential to it. And yet I saw them all as somehow perfected, beyond time, by one another’s love, compassion, and forgiveness, as it is said we may be perfected by grace.– Wendell Berry, Jayber Crow: A Novel (Washington, DC: Counterpoint, 2000, p. 205).

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Wendell Berry

Novelist, poet, essayist and farmer