20 Apr Two Options…One Choice
In spite of how diverse our world is, we are moving toward two camps. You like roses or violets. You like dogs or cats. You like the North Pole or the South Pole…really polarizing. (That is a bad joke….sorry). We like the simplicity of two choices even when that is not the case.
People were horrified this week to see Paris’ Notre Dame Cathedral on fire. My wife and her family have traveled there and tell me it is a sight to behold. As evidence of where we are right now in the world, arguments started about church buildings. Itching for a fight, people got after each other challenging the sacredness of a building. As if we are revisiting the iconoclast battles of the Reformation Era 500 years ago where church folks fought about sacred art, people are arguing about sacred spaces.
We do not have to choose between two positions on church buildings. Having a church you think is beautiful is not a bad thing as long as you do not worship it. I served a large, downtown church in Savannah years ago. Built in the 1890s, this gothic revival church in beautiful, but, more importantly, it is the home of a thriving congregation. The beauty comes from God’s light shining through followers of Jesus.
I talk a great deal about not wanting Shoreline to have a building solely dedicated to the life of a church. We want a permanent partner to share the space like we have with Valdosta Stadium Cinemas. I love beautiful architecture, especially when it is constructed to glorify God, but I do not believe the church building is an end in and of itself. It is a means to use to worship and follow Jesus. The building is never to be worshipped.
In the years ahead, we are going to have to streamline church budgets and find new ways to serve the movement of Jesus followers that is the Church. Where we worship is sacred because God is present and glorified there. It all begins with us…the people of God. We are the only buildings in which God has to dwell.
So, I am gong to do what I said is not helpful…here is my polarizing statement: There are only two groups of people in the world—followers of Jesus and those who can become followers of Jesus. You have heard me say that before, and you will hear me say it a bunch more. This Sunday is a great day to make the former group larger.
Easter is about the Resurrection of Jesus. It is always about that. Every day in the life of the church is about that. Jesus came back from the dead for us…to gather us all to Himself. Come to the theater on Sunday at 10:30a and praise God for this eternal victory. If you are not following Jesus, this is the day to commit or recommit to Him. The following Sunday, April 28, we have another Shoreline 101 to find out more about following Jesus and membership at Shoreline.
Blessings to you,