Sunday, November 11, 2012

Old Church Steeples and Blue Sky

This is a church in a sea side town.  It has been looking down on life for its vantage point for over 200 years.  Time, change, storms and the liter of life has past beneath it.  It is a symbol of a time when the tallest structure in town was not the Twin Towers but the church steeple. Now it is a church that is quint and historic on the corner it occupies but not in any way dominating of the sky line.

At the time I took this picture,   practical thoughts went through my mind.   How does a church like this occupying a slice of history ever  hope to find a place of relevance and place of connection with the present? As it reminds us of the past in every waking moment,  the present becomes the challenge.   Right now in our American church culture we would prefer every church structure to be post-modern designed like a factory, warehouse, or a movie theater.  That may be a reaction to churches that were the product of an era when the vision of churches was of tall cathedral ceiling and stain-glass windows with limited real functionality.   As if the building says something about what takes place within?

That is the point...churches are supposed to say something about what takes place within...I love the fact that the early church when they got to the point where church buildings were safe the very first designs were in the shape of a cross.  Steeples and blue sky go together...they point to the One who knows the end from the beginning ..the One who holds us in the palm of his hand.

But they really are only wood, nails and plaster...there is nothing sacred in their essence. Except as people given over to God have dedicated them to the use of the Lord.  They become something more than they were. I have found that as I cruse into towns one of the first buildings that I look for is the church.  Now I know that others might scope out the schools...the restaurants...or maybe the pubs.  But my eye first looks for the church...what does it say about this town...what glimpses of its history can I gain?  Is that quaint little white church really empty?

Thanks to Richard Leonard for his pictures of churches he and I share a mutual interest or maybe obsession with church buildings...and hopefully of the church of Jesus Christ alive and vibrant in the 21st century.

That is the challenge of the coming years for those steeples that point to blue sky to also be points of light that lead to a Savior who's heart is always concerned for the lost, the oppressed, the hurt and the hopeless.

Lord Jesus--Let Living Springs be just that alive with your Holy Spirit.

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