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I recently read an article that struck me. It made a comment that was not unusual, but it struck me. It was about a church that could not record their Sunday services in their beautiful building because of a power outage. The church “could not imagine having services without their building” on Easter.
The church building was indeed a beautiful colonial structure. A truly lovely sanctuary. We’ve all seen beautiful church buildings before. If you spend any time in Europe you have the opportunity to tour amazing Cathedrals that were constructed by generations over hundreds of years. These buildings were built at great expense to draw the worshipper into the glory of God and give a sense of awe at his majesty. The largeness of them does overwhelm and remind the worshipper that there is something “bigger” than he or she.
But what I thought of was a certain irony in all this. We built buildings to enhance our awareness of God’s majesty, but now some can’t imagine His majesty without the buildings. In my mind, this speaks to a certain poverty in our worship. In the Day of the Spirit we are wooed back to the days of Law with its physical dependencies. But buildings cannot really project God’s greatness (Acts 7:48). God’s greatness far transcends the imaginations of an architect. His majesty pales human creativity and is perfectly clear without it (Psa. 19:1-6).
We are privileged to have beautiful church buildings and amazing sanctuaries that allow us to worship with a focus on our majestic God. But if we lose them or lose access to them for a time, true worship is neither limited nor constrained. In fact, in all the shakeup it might be clarified.
How is your worship?