It was built for the praise of His glory.

The cathedral has stood for centuries, hinting at God’s unchangeable nature. Towering spires represent His greatness, carvings in stone and wood record His work through the ages, and stained glass reflects His brilliance and color and light. An organ shakes the air with powerful music for a powerful God.

I stand in this structure built for the Lord I love, but I am chilled and unsettled—because He is not there.

When my family visited Europe in summer of 2007, we visited many cathedrals. All ancient. All majestic. Most of them dead.

I came home struck by how a church can die if a single generation fails to reach the following generation, and impressed with the urgency and significance of the tasks God has given me.

Some of us work with children at home, on the job, or in ministry—teaching, loving, living our faith. Some of us interact with other adults, equipping them, comforting them, uplifting them to fulfill their own God-given purpose. Some of us do behind-the-scenes work necessary for the church to function. If performed with the Lord’s call and guidance and strength, all these roles keep our church breathing. All are vital. None are trivial.

“Let us not give up meeting together…but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching” Hebrews 10:25 (NIV).

3 Responses to “Cathedral”

  1. Michelle

    I’m studying renaissance art and architecture at university right now, and we’ve been talking about how the Old St. Peter’s basicilica in Rome was torn down by the pope in the early 1500’s and a new one was built, and the ‘new’ one is currently still standing. The pope funded it by telling people that if they bought enough indulgences, not only could their past and future sins be erased, they could also pay for the the sins of their dead relatives stuck in puratory! The was one of the factors that contributed to Martin Luther challenging the Catholic church, which changed the face of Christianity forever. I have quite a jaded view of cathedrals now. 🙂

  2. Sarah Sundin

    Michelle – I don’t blame you. There are some truly appalling moments in church history, and selling indulgences has to be one of the worst. How it must have made Jesus cry – He’d already paid the price for all sin for all time.

    I went in one or two cathedrals where I felt God’s presence, and the volunteers glowed with their love for God. But the vast majority were dead. In one, I felt the darkest layer of oppression I’ve ever felt – I could barely breathe. I scuttled my kids out as quickly as possible. Kind of eerie.