Friday, April 10, 2009
All Ye Works Of God!
It has been a labor of love and aching backs and sore hands–literally so for there were breaks taken for surgery on David’s back and hands. Yet by Palm Sunday Michelle’s vision had come to fruition, and the chancel area was complete. This is not to say that the renovations of the interior of the church are complete. There are still some bit-and-pieces yet to be attended to, but the major portion is finished. We can enjoy the beauty of what Michelle envisioned and David and his crew of many volunteers crafted.
In case you’ve forgotten how far we’ve come, here is a photo of my consecration that will give an idea of “then”. The rest shown were taken this morning for the “now.” The altar is dressed for Good Friday.
This week, whether it was Holy Tuesday or Holy Wednesday I don’t recall, we had just finished Matins and my class left to use the bathrooms in the church, as is their custom. I asked them to wait for me in the church while I checked the state of the trash receptacles. The are small and need emptying often, especially with frequent services and babies attending. When I went to collect them, they were oddly quiet. I’ve struggled with them to keep their voices respectfully low in the sanctuary all year long. “Don’t you know it’s a throne room?” Do you realize that the King of Kings sits on that altar in the bread and wine?” This is no place for being rowdy.”
On this day they were standing near the communion rail, entranced by every word coming from pastor’s mouth. They were asking questions, “What is that for?;” “What do we have that up there?”; “What does this symbol mean?”; and finally, the great catechetical question of God’s children,“What is this? ” Pastor was answering each one, making the link to Christ. They didn’t want to stop, and not merely because they wanted to miss Math classes. They wanted more of Jesus.
People can argue, as they did with Jesus (Mk 14:4-5), “These are hard times. Money is tough. Why do you spend it on luxury when it should be spent on the poor?” The answer is simple. It was spent on the poor. It was spent on the poor in spirit so that they might have more Jesus.
This is the highest reason we adorn churches. It is not for the sake of puffery, for making ourselves look grand. It is so the great catechetical question is asked, “What is this?” and it can be answered through Christ. Bread of heaven given; bread received.