I love the house where you live, O Lord, the place where your glory dwells. -Psalm 26:8
Mature Christians understand that we are each a "house" for the Lord, and are part of a larger body of Christ known as the church. We know that God dwells in us, in our brothers and sisters in Christ, and in God's creation. We at JCPC are blessed with a beautiful church that is a holy place for the people of God to gather, but we know it is not God's only house.
As a child, though, the attachment I felt to the physical place of worship was important to me - a large part of the connection I felt to God. Children are literalists, and in my mind, the church was God's actual house. There was nowhere else quite like it, and I loved to go to the church with my grandfather. I even loved the aromas in God's house - hymnals, beeswax, Bibles, and wooden pews!
I was taught at a very young age that I was to behave differently in God's house. Traipsing alongside my grandfather for whatever we set about to accomplish that day, I learned that it was acceptable to use my normal tone of voice when we were weeding in the gardens or setting out materials in preparation for his Sunday School class the next morning.
However, once we opened the large wooden doors to the sanctuary, I was to speak only in hushed tones, and heaven forbid that I should run, skip, hop, or plop down in a pew!
I recall thinking that the mammoth cross at the front of the church must surely have been a thousand feet high, and the monstrous organ sported so many keyboards I couldn't imagine how one person could possibly play them all at the same time. The sanctuary was a place of reverence, and
I lived my young life in awe of its many wonders!
Even to adults, a church building (or in our case, an addition) is a symbol of growth and thriving ministry.
I imagine we're all a bit like children in the connection we make between these things. But like a child, those who do not know Christ may come to understand the magnitude of God through tangible witness and observable events. We are building to add space sufficient for the needs of our members, as well as for those whom God has yet to call to this place!
As we embark upon the privilege of constructing our new multi-purpose building, it is my prayer that all will feel
"at home" in our church, and that we the people, serving together, are indeed building the "house" of the Lord.
Prayer for Today
Lord, we give you thanks for our beautiful church building and for our brothers and sisters in Christ who congregate here. Help us to be the place where your glory dwells. Amen.