Wednesday, April 27, 2011

No frills, just church.

"Where two or more gather...He is there with us."

Simple. Delightful.

Where two or more gather...He is there.

No frills. No requirements. He's there.

This past weekend for Easter, I visisted family in Quincy, IL. A small small town where everyone knows everyone...and for the most part, everyone enjoys everyone.

My uncle is a firefighter, and works on most holidays. So there are church services for Christmas and Easter held at the local firestation so these men and their families can attend. As was the case for this Sunday's Easter Mass.

I've seen many beautiful churches in my life.

Cathedrals downtown with high rising ceilings and stained glass.

Churches with mountains in the background.

Churches with large stages and flat screens.

I think I prefer the firestation.

As we entered we passed all the firetrucks lined up outside (in order to make room for us in the interior) and gathered with about 50 other people in a somewhat dark, hollowed out, garage.

I can't even describe to you how beautiful the scene was.

We sat in fold-up chairs and listened as the engaging priest walked up and down the only isle asking questions to what looked like his friends and brothers...rather than a congregation.

Every once and a while the intercom to the station would unfortunate event played out... and the firemen rushed out the door and attended to other's neeeds.

A little girl hit her head.

An unconcious male found near the street.

The priest was interrupted numerous times with these announcements...and we would stop and pray for those people.

Then the lesson would continue.

It was messy.

The transitions between readings and songs were not flawless.

The woman playing the piano's voice was screetchy.

Children in the back had no child-care to attend, so noises would echo off the wall and interrupt the hymns.

Real messy.

At one point, my mother actually hit her head on funnel system of some sort that was hanging down from the ceiling above her chair.

Real people.

For once I felt like the church I was at was an accurate representation of the people that gathered within it.

Messy but beautiful.

as simple as "Where two or more are gathered...I am there"

You know what else was really beautiful?

I relied on the Scripture, the Holy Spirit, the Body of Christ alone to change my heart.

Not the music.

Not the asthetic of the building.

Not the sereness.

Just the simple things.

The needed things.

That is all.

"If we build to please ourselves, we are building on the sand; If we build for the love of God, we are building on the Rock."- Oswald Chambers