Monday, April 15, 2019

Even When Steeples Are Falling

The fire that swept through Notre Dame Cathedral is, according to a reporter interviewed by NPR this afternoon, the heartbreaking culmination of years of neglect toward one of Europe's great architectural landmarks. The above picture, by Getty Images, is from The New York Times' coverage of the event.

This evening, I keep thinking of the first three stanzas of an old hymn:

Built on a Rock the Church shall stand,
Even when steeples are falling;
Crumbled have spires in every land,
Bells still are chiming and calling--
Calling the young and old to rest,
Calling the souls of those distressed,
Longing for life everlasting.

Not in our temples made with hands
God, the Almighty, is dwelling;
High in the heav'ns His temple stands,
All earthly temples excelling.
Yet He Who dwells in heav'n above
Deigns to abide with us in love,
Making our bodies His temple.

We are God's house of living stones,
Built for His own habitation;
He fills our hearts, His humble thrones, 
Granting us life and salvation.
Were two or three to seek His face,
He in their midst would show His grace,
Blessings upon them bestowing...

Jesus is the Rock on Whom the Church is built.

And the Church isn't buildings, though buildings can be places where the Church meets for worship, prayer, praise, and the deputization of the Holy Spirit to spread the good news that all who repent and believe in Jesus as their God and Savior have life with God that never ends.

The Church is God's people, the body of Christ, living stones built into the Cornerstone, Jesus, once rejected by the world, Who died for the sins of all humanity and rose to open the way to eternity with God for all who trust in Him.

The Church always faces setbacks. But even when steeples are falling, the Church continues to call people to the life that only Jesus Christ can give. "Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved (Acts 4:12).”

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