Thursday May 14th
One of the stories I find really interesting in the New Testament is when the disciples were admiring the temple in Jerusalem and in a rather matter of fact way Jesus tells them it is going to wiped away and destroyed.
Mark 13: As Jesus was leaving the temple, one of his disciples said to him, “Look, Teacher! What massive stones! What magnificent buildings!” “Do you see all these great buildings?” replied Jesus. “Not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.”
Clearly this disturbed the disciples because later they ask Jesus what he had meant. I think in our present situation we can long to get back to our buildings because they represent safety and stability and a sense of permanence. In reality as much as I love our church buildings and I will be delighted to get back and worship in them, they are not what our faith is about. However if we see faith as something we only experience in our buildings then we have probably misunderstood what our faith is about. Our buildings are a sign and symbol of our faith, and ‘place’ is a really important part of how that faith is experienced in our communities, but it is not dependent on them.
The early church grew and developed, meeting in peoples homes and in this present crisis we know that 1 in 4 people are accessing our online offerings and joining in with church. God is not constrained by buildings or restricted by our lack of access to our buildings and I think that we are learning again what our faith looks like and means separated from our usual practices and routines. Instead we are rediscovering that God meets us in the ordinary and everyday and that he takes the ordinary things of life and makes them extraordinary! It is in the ordinariness of our homes that we are called to share our faith anew and rediscover that our faith transcends our buildings.
Pray today for those who are returning to work with a sense of caution and perhaps a little fear. Pray too for our schools and places of education as they plan for the return of pupils and the challenges of social distancing.
God, who is faithful when
all the foundations crumble:
in the time of crisis,
as holy places fall and nations stumble,
give us the conviction to bear witness to your love,
whatever the cost; through Jesus Christ,
your Word and Wisdom.