Today's Lectionary Text
One day people were standing around talking about the Temple, remarking how beautiful it was, the splendor of its stonework and memorial gifts. Jesus said, “All this you’re admiring so much—the time is coming when every stone in that building will end up in a heap of rubble.”
Several years ago, I had the wonderful opportunity of taking the John Wesley England Tour through Education Opportunity. The day we were in Epworth, we visited Samuel Wesley’s church, Saint Andrews Church, Epworth. What a beautiful site! To stand in the midst of that Holy Space, and remember the stories of the Wesleys, to imagine the preaching and the singing that filled the halls was overwhelming at times. There was something special about touching the Baptismal Font where John and Charles were baptized, to whisper the words, “I remember my baptismal and am thankful,” took me back to the hymns of Charles Wesley, which are so rich in tradition and grace.
Then there was the wall – nothing special about the wall – just bricks and mortar which have been there for so many years. Maybe I was thinking about if those walls could talk! In the moment, I reached out and touch the wall – just a gentle touch – and off fell a piece of the wall! Not a big piece, about the size of a nickel – yet, still, I made a piece of this historical wall fall to the ground. I picked it up – looked around, trying to figure out, “what now?” I put that small piece of the wall into my pocket and brought it home! It is displayed on my jewelry box in my bedroom, and every morning when I look at it, I think about that day.
All these years later, I think about our facilities in a different light. While we have beautiful worship and educational spaces, it is not the building that is the church. When I meet with leadership in our worship spaces, one question I ask them to think about is “what if a tornado happened tonight and leveled this building to the ground?” “Would you stop being who you are?” The answer is always “no”. We are the church – it’s the people! It has nothing to do with the building!
When the first piece of wall falls to the floor – what will you do? Stop going to church or begin to BE the church – maybe that is the best answer!
-Rev. Hollie Tapley
Disaster Response Coordinator
Prayer for Reflection
Holy God, remind us that wherever we stand, it’s Holy Ground, because You are there with us. Amen.
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