For Cee’s Midweek Madness Photo Challenge. The prompt was “letters Ch or Ck in the word,” which reminded me of my trip to St. Anthony’s Greek Orthodox Monastery a year and a half ago and the lovely church and one of the chapels on the grounds.
I’m off-prompt today.
The last rays of light barely illuminate the stained glass windows.
It’s not a Sunday; no one is required to attend tonight.
Nevertheless, a crowd of hushed worshippers sit expectantly.
I’m blessed to be among them.
I belong here.
I’ll be ringing in the handbell choir.
The choir will sing.
The sanctuary will peal with praise.
The Good News will be proclaimed.
Six boys will experience the Lord’s Supper for the first time.
At the close of the service, we’ll each light a candle and place it in the holders on the altar.
Our prayers will rise to the throne of God.
This article originally appeared on Doing Life Together.
Imagine arriving at church one Sunday morning and seeing this:
It looks like a war zone, doesn’t it?
Shocked parishioners stood in the parking lot and stared at the rubble.
Actually, the congregation of Gethsemane Lutheran Church should have anticipated this sight. It’s good news. Feeling the strain of a sanctuary too small to hold all the attendees at worship services, the church had started many months ago pledging and raising money for the improvement initiative they named Forward in Mission. Demolition had to occur before new construction could begin.
Yet, people felt devastated by the wreckage. People who contributed toward the erection of the original structure decades ago. People who recognized the old church as a neighborhood landmark. People who had attended the parish school, and had gone to chapel in the old building.
Often, the old has to be torn down before positive changes can be made.
Life is like that, isn’t it?
Sometimes I recognize that one corner of my life is encroaching on the others. I’m spending time in a way that causes conflict for me or for people I care about. Yet I tolerate the tension and the clashes and the ineffectiveness, because it’s the way I’ve always operated and I derive a sick satisfaction from the status quo. It takes total collapse before I surrender and admit that the only remedy is change. On my part.
It’s hard. I mourn the loss of the old me, even though I know the new person I am becoming is one step closer to the vision of the God who created me.
He is a God of second chances. He is the Guide to salvation and sanctification. He’ll allow me to experience disaster, if that’s what it takes for me to notice He’s leading me in a different direction.
And He’ll make something beautiful out of the destruction.