My wife and I like looking through the real estate guides for farms, vacation properties, and land (even though we… uh… don’t have any money to buy). Anyway, I saw this add:
2036 square foot building. Formerly a church. Great for antiquing, yoga studio, artisit space, gallery, or residence.
Ok… so my question is, “why not another CHURCH!!!”.
The answer is simple… people have realized that a ‘building’ doesn’t mean a ‘church’. The upside (yes… I said upside) to this is that many folks are leaving organized religion because they have seen clearly that it is not about ‘where’ you go… it’s a matter of personal spirituality (which can be expressed anywhere!). The downside to this is that folks really aren’t expressing their faith in personal ways ‘wherever’ they go.
What made the Christian faith great was not cathedrals or rules… but rather people gathering together (because they wanted to) for the sake of their faith.
Acts 12 showcases another miraculous escape from prison… (see entry from 5/25 for the first escape). But, what is interesting about this time around is that the freed Peter goes to the home of one of the faithful (Mary). And what were they doing… gathering and praying:
he went to the house of Mary, the mother of John whose other name was Mark, where many had gathered and were praying.
When Peter was freed… he had somewhere to go, a place of protection and support. And it wasn’t because someone threw up a ‘church’ building… it was because by gathering in faith, a group of people became the church.
No matter our ‘beef’ with organized religion… whatever the reason we might have turned away… have we embraced the alternative? Have we gathered in faith in some place, at some time, with some people?