The Buildings Burn But the Church Remains
Three historically African-American churches in Louisiana were intentionally burned within the past week. The Cathedral of Notre Dame burned as a result of an electrical fire. Four different sacred structures damaged by fire. The churches in Louisiana and Notre Dame were burned for very different reasons and yet the result is much the same. Four communities of Jesus' friends are without the buildings they have called their spiritual home.
We mourn with those communities. We pray for those communities. Church buildings are funny things. They come to mean so much to so many people. A lot of living happens in those buildings. But those buildings are not the Church--they never were.
The buildings are icons of the Church. They say we are here. They provide a place to worship, to teach people about Jesus, and to meet the needs of the wider world. But despite all of the beauty to be found in church buildings they are still buildings and not the Church.
Jesus promises in Matthew's gospel account (Matthew 16:18) that difficulties and trials will come in this life but not even the gates of Hell can prevail against his Church. Jesus won the victory against all of the powers of sin, destruction, and death when he died and rose again on the cross of Calvary.
The truth is that buildings and things are not the Church. Jesus' friends spread across the ages are the Church. WE ARE THE CHURCH. Difficulties and trials come and go but the Church remains.
Just keep holding onto Jesus and one another and remember there is nothing, not even Hell itself, that can prevail Jesus' friends.
Stay Salty my friends,