Yesterday in Paris the iconic Notre Dame Cathedral burned…
People from all over the world watched as the spire with ‘the bells of Notre Dame’ fell. Some mourned, some cried, some prayed and some sang.
There were those who mourned for the building–an 800-year-old structure that seemed to be one of the most recognizable and revered churches in the world. To anyone who appreciates architecture, history, and even stained glass, it was a beautiful structure.
But, of course, it was more than that.
This was a building which was a church…a place where millions have visited, and many thousands have worshiped.
For some, the symbol of Notre Dame represents more than a specific Roman Catholic cathedral in a specific city…it represents the Church, in general. The fact that it burned…is symbolic of what’s going on in ‘The Church’ all over the world.
Whether you are Roman Catholic, or Protestant, these are tumultuous times in the life of the Church…and I believe that, what the Lord would ask us who believe is this: ‘What are you worshipping?’
It is possible, after all, to ‘worship’ THE BUILDING…and all it represents–without really ‘worshiping’ the Lord who is the Reason for the building.
It is possible to ‘worship’ RELIGION, and all it represents…and to miss the One that our religion was founded upon.
I believe one message from God for those of us who are believers today is that He is not confined to a building!
God, after all, is Lord of the Universe–He cannot be contained in a building!
Therefore, He is worthy of our worship, praise, surrender and obedience no matter what happens to our buildings.
This week, Christians around the world will celebrate the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus.
He is the Lord of Creation, the One who gave His life to pay for our sins, and the One who gives us LIFE–Full Life and and Eternal Life–through faith in Him. He is the One who deserves our focus, our prayers, our full-on-worship.
“The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy.19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.”
Those are the truths that we are called to fix our minds on today…and That is the reality that enables us to worship Him fully–not just during ‘Holy Week’, but at all times!
No building can contain Him, and He is worthy of our praise and worship everywhere we go.
The burning of a beautiful, historical cathedral during holy week can do one good thing: It can remind us that our hope is not in our church buildings, and our hope is not even in our religion. Our hope is in the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the grace of God, took our sins upon Himself and paid for them with His life. He conquered sin, death and the grave…and HE–and He ALONE–deserves our all-out-worship!
May we focus on Him today!