The sanctuary of our church is being remodeled. It has happened in stages, and each week we’ve gotten tiny glimpses of the future in new paint colors and construction dust. It’s exciting and also a little sad, I think, for those who have been around for awhile. We do tend to get attached to our pews and our blue carpet and our memories of the physical trappings of a family of faith that sustains us.
This week, major demolition led to the removal of our fifty year old church pews. And, suddenly, our amazing church looked like this:
Empty. In a few weeks, this place will look completely different. The vibrant Sunday morning worship will be back. The claiming of the pews. The joy of being a part of a family. The sweet spirit of love.
But, even as we look forward to enjoying a new beginning, I pray that we will remember that people come into this beautiful building every week who feel just as empty as this room is tonight. They wear smiles and say their how-are-yas, but they are lonely or broken or lost or ashamed.
I hope we will show them that the love of Christ is more beautiful than any building, and, unlike church pews, it never falls apart or needs replacing. May we be grateful for God’s blessings and also keenly aware that if this building were completely destroyed tomorrow, the church remains. I’m thankful for this family. And for an end to emptiness.