Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's spirit lives in you? --1st Corinthians 3:16
This week we arrived at church to find that the construction project we had long anticipated was finally in full swing. Sturdy walls had been replaced by temporary ply-wood, the restrooms had been downgraded to port-a-potties, the worship team was wedged into a corner to make room for the congregation and the entire building was surrounded by a chain-link fence adorned with yards of construction tape. Needless to say, the building--or at least what's left of it--was not particularly beautiful that Sunday morning.
Perhaps it was because the barren wooden walls were so plain they weren't a distraction. Maybe it was because our congregation was crammed tightly together, but I was surprised to find that I actually had a much easier time focusing on worship that morning. Now that I think about it, I realize that it was probably the Holy Spirit reminding me that a building is just that--a building.
As I sat through the sermon, I reveled in the truth that God doesn't show up to a building every Sunday. He doesn't meet us at the front door of our church and sit with us for an hour and a half and then leave us on our own. God is not bounded by walls and He is not restricted by time. He lives in us and among us, and that is what makes me so in awe of Him. In the future I will remind myself that going to church doesn't mean showing up at a particular building around 9:30, but rather, it means convening with others in whom God's spirit dwells. Even once our church building has been completely renovated and is once again a thing of form and function, I will remember that it's still just a building.
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