Day: November 29, 2013

the ordinary holiness of a church

Empty, expectant?

I’m glad to say I’m part of an ordinary church.

We meet in an ordinary building — a former Salvation Army Citadel (although it doesn’t look like it’s built to withstand much of an onslaught).

Things are neat enough. And functional.

But, as a physical space, it’s not exactly beautiful.

More down-at-heel. Boasting a tattered op-shop vibe. (A little like our congregation I guess.)

And yet it’s also cosy. Wadded with memories. Lived in. A family home.

The laughter and tears of children trodden into the carpet along with scattered glitter and crumbs.

When it rains, it’s soft. So insistently there — only a few feet away. Nearby. But not confined to that one location. (A little like our God I guess.)

Some days I wonder if I can almost hear the ghost of our prayers — ours and those of the generations before us. The inaudible echo of so much faith and doubt.

And during Advent I can’t shake the feeling that our bland and gnarled building is a cocoon — within which we slowly squirm and heave, waiting for transformation.

If this isn’t holiness, perhaps it’s its shadow…