Built on a Rock
I have been humming this hymn all week:
“Built on a rock the church shall stand, even when steeples are falling;
crumbled have spires in ev’ry land, bells still are chiming and calling”
These chilling words echoed in my head as the videos and images of the Notre Dame fire flooded the news. In slightly lesser known news, three churches were destroyed by an arsonist in Louisiana in the last three months. Whether accidental or intentional, the destruction of any place of worship evokes strong emotions. These were places defined by worship, peace, prayer, joy, praise, and family!
Having just moved, I know firsthand the emotional attachment we have with buildings. We left more than just a building with bedrooms, a kitchen, a living space; it was “HOME.” We watched our children go from crawling to running independently through the yard. We had the growth chart penciled on the kitchen wall. It was difficult to leave that history behind, and yet it is imperative that I remind my children that a true home is more than a street address or particular building. Home is where family and love are shared.
The hymn continues though, telling us God does not dwell in the stone temples we build, but rather in the living stones of Christ’s body! In the Eucharist meal, we are reminded that we are members of the body of Christ, forgiven and called to share the news of God’s love. The real ringing of bells is when we–the living stones of the church–provide a place and voice for God’s grace and forgiveness to be shared. That message rings loud and clear!