This post is part of the Christian Writer’s blog chain. Our theme is “august,” as in majestic, dignified, distinguished, solemn, imposing, grandeur. Please visit my Christian Writer friends by clicking on the links to the right.
If you missed any of my “august” posts, follow these links to find God’s majesty on the ocean floor [LIVING WATER], with the new life of a child [HOT AUGUST NIGHTS], in the starry heavens [THE HEAVENS DECLARE YOUR GLORY], and in the majesty of a California redwood [GROWING THE MAJESTY OF GOD].
On our first trip to Europe, hubby and I did “all things tourist.” And for Europe, that meant visiting every cathedral in every city in every country.
Some had flying buttresses and gargoyles; some had tall arches and candlelit altars. They had bell towers and catacombs, imposing stone walls, gem-sparkled windows, and hushed echoes of prayers and tour guides. And they were all built to honor God as an attempt to reflect his august majesty.
You’d think that after seeing one cathedral, we’d skip the next 72. But, we never tired of exploring and wondering at the human, physical workmanship that went into building a house of worship to honor our God.
Back home, our little chapels, white steeples and church services held in school auditoriums and storefronts paled by comparison. Surely God couldn’t feel honored by this. Of course, I knew it wasn’t the building that represented God. It wasn’t the building He felt worshipped by. God simply wasn’t the building at all; nor was his church the building.
Still, the images of those imposing cathedrals kept me wishing I could worship there. Maybe then I could feel a deeper presence with God. Maybe I could experience Him better. Maybe I could worship Him more.
That understanding reversed when I returned to the place of a childhood vacation—in the Sequoia National Forest in California.
Sunday morning church service had been on the side of a mountain, sitting on a rock, overlooking the grandeur of a valley below, surrounded by towering trees that sprouted from seed before our Lord Jesus took human form. That was truly God’s cathedral. That was truly where God resided.
Only God could build a cathedral that reflected His own august majesty.
Unfortunately, we cannot always attend a worship service on a mountainside. And often we need the fellowship and teaching that a structured body of believers provides.
The building where we attend church today is a brick and mortar structure. It is functional and comfortable. It is beautiful by human standards. More importantly it is also probably beautiful by God’s standards because His people are inside; not praising each other for the building; but praising Him for His glory.
A 300-year old cathedral of stone and stained glass and a 3-year old church of wood and stucco both reflect God’s glory when they are filled with His people who love and worship Him and seek to know Him.
Just as we can seek and find Him in the majesty of a mountainside worship service, so can He be found in a cathedral built on the Seine, a church built on the corner lot downtown, or believers gathered inside a school lunchroom. He is ever present and He meets us wherever we are.
PRAYER: Heavenly Father, show us your glory and show us ways to worship you more. Remind us that you are everywhere and that every place we are can be a place of worship. Remind us that your church is us; not a building. Help us be a reflection of your beauty to the world. Amen.
WHAT ABOUT YOU? What “church” setting gives you the greatest sense of being in the presence of God?