This Sunday our church is holding its first service in the new building.
Two and a half years ago my son found himself alone in our church. Other kids have trouble relating to a teen with an IQ of 46.
He heard voices.
He turned on the ovens and stoves in the kitchen.
He found a candle. He found a lighter. He went to a stairwell and played with fire.
We were in a meeting at the church. Our church elders were talking with folks about our youth program.
My youth was burning down the church.
Jeremiah was born in Haiti.
There are indicators he was abused.
Physically (there are scars on his head).
Psychologically (he thought we would withhold food from him).
Sexually (odd reactions when he was bathed).
Spiritually (he witnessed Voodoo rites).
Now we are moving into the $2 million building.
There is a beautiful cross going up in the new building. It is made of laminated beams from the old building, charred by the fire. The seared burns on the wood are centered, fading toward the ends, symbolic of the sins our Lord sacrificed Himself for two millennia ago.
There are a lot of mixed feelings about this new building which provides a superior place for worship, for our youth, for offering a resource to our community.
But it is just a building.
Though our family has a unique perspective on this I recognize how others see it. It is a wonderful improvement. It is an asset to our community. It is a place where people can more easily meet with our Lord.
This building will host concerts, and weddings, and baptisms, and services which will draw people together.
Still, it is only a building.
The real purpose of church isn’t a building. It is the relationship which springs between human beings (an odd little species on the edge of a rather ordinary spiral galaxy) and the Creator of the Universe.
That is a real mystery.
There was an interesting image recently on Astronomical Picture of the Day.
A survey of the galaxies which lie south of the axis of our galaxy of 100 billion stars shows 2 million other galaxies.
I’ll let that sink in a bit.
One direction from our galaxy we can easily count 2 million galaxies, which might comprise as many as 100 billion stars each.
We are clinging to a tiny ball of soil which dances about a rather ordinary star on an outer edge of a rather ordinary galaxy floating amid perhaps 500 billion galaxies.
I believe that our universe is is held together at the quantum level by an intelligent force. A force that appears to work in groupings of three. A force I have come to know... and love.
That is the real church.
This being, a being who works through trinities of the quarks within the depths of the fabric of atoms, is the Church.
I don’t understand the details of the strange dance my spirit has waltzed these past few years, but I know that the rebuilding of this church has at its core the growth of the Church.
The Creator of the Universe is interested enough in a soul among 6.8 billion to use his family to change the intersection of the souls in the community and Himself.