Church building importance
This Sunday, I’d like us to think about the importance of a particular space, a building, for our spirituality. We’ve always gathered in a church on Sunday and for me, churches have something special to them. Although we can meet and are meeting God anywhere, church building always was a place when I could calm down, soak in the atmosphere, and get closer to God. Church buildings were built from the early Christian times, with Cenacle, the site of the Last Supper, being considered the first Christian church building by many sources.
A place of worship was always extremely important for people of faith. Israelites, led by King Salomon, finally built their first temple, finished in 957 BCE. They placed the Covenant Box and the Tent of Lord’s presence (Tabernacle) in the temple which served as a place of worship but also as a place of gathering. As we will read in today’s Old Testament reading, Solomon, in his wisdom, already knew that it was quite unlikely that God would live in an Earthly dwelling, whether it was a tent or a majestic temple. He understood that God could not be contained to living inside of anything.
Gathering in a cyberspace
During the past year or so, when we got used to gathering on Zoom meetings, we are reminded of what Salomon believed some 3,000 years ago. It is great to have a place of worship, it is important and necessary to invest our time and resources to maintain our beautiful church building in St Kilda. At the same time, we can be thankful for having the opportunity to gather as a community in a virtual building, cyberspace. It fulfills everything that a church building can provide us with – it is a space where we meet one another, spend time as a community, and worship God. And God is there, with us. If we want to.
Also, today’s texts from the Lectionary lead us to think about the gift of having a home. How blessed we are to have a place to call home, whether it’s small or big. Walls around us, a roof above our heads, windows to the outside world. We think of the millions of people who are not as lucky as we are. Our thoughts are with Afghani people whose lives are changing rapidly and for many if not most of them, it’s not for better. We think of all and especially girls and women who are most probably losing a chance to live fulfilled lives with access to education and career. Let us be thankful for everything we have. Let’s stay quiet for a while and think of people who were not so lucky to be born in a country that provides them with opportunities and a chance for a decent life.