While running a few errands today, I went past a familiar spot of town and noticed a church that used to be in a particular spot. The building was present, the marquee was there, but it was blank; evidence the build was once used by church members. Seeing the church building vacated like that, reminded me of the many of vacated homes throughout many counties in Georgia. Homes once inhabited, now vacant, and a reminder of bad economic times.
When I lived in Atlanta, Georgia you could find many streets with foreclosed homes, but there were three or four houses where someone lived. It’s sad to see a place that someone once called home, abandoned and empty. The site of a foreclosed, abandoned and vacant church building may be the result of tough economic times, but there is nothing significantly different between a house once inhabited, and a church building once occupied.
The Difference between the two
It’s interesting how people relate a church building to a place where God resides, and the building is held in such reverence and esteem because it is said to be Gods House and His presence resides there. How disappointing for the creator of all things to be confined to a small space until next Sunday. The fact that people make up the church, is a reality difficult for some to accept.
The building is not the church, the people are the church. The church is never abandoned, foreclosed on, and it certainly cannot burn down. Like homes, the church building can be seized by the bank, burned by fire and damaged by flood waters.
Locked in, until Bible study next week
I’m glad God dwells not in a place of brick and mortar. If He occupied buildings (and not the heart of man) God would be left all alone, locked up, in that building, waiting for the members to show up (casually late) for the next service. I can remember hearing a deacon say, ” Man, I couldn’t wait to get here to the church, to hear a word from God!”
The things we often say, reveal how we live during the week. While, I’m sure no one believes that God resides in the building we call the church, but you would think we succeeded in locking Him in there after worship services and, He won’t dare peek outside or venture into the parking lot! Oh my, the things He would see!
God doesn’t live in a building with an address. A building called “the church,” is not Gods house (it never was), it’s a place where the people of God meet in fellowship. When that great day shall arrive, when Jesus Christ shall return for His Bride (the Church) He’s not coming back for, or to a foreclosed, abandoned building, but for a people ( the ecclesia ); a people not having spot, wrinkle or any such thing. ( Ephesians 5:27 )
That is the Church!
Going Against The Grain