I love a beautiful architecture. I used to travel to all of the major cities of the US and as I flew in I would be captivated by the amazing architecture especially the beautiful churches…many of them very old. (see picture of my favorite New York church I used to stop by for prayer)
I’m reminded of the early church that had been accustomed to going to the Temple for their time of worship and that had now begun using their homes for the same purpose…yet, they still went to Temple as written in Acts 2:46 They worshiped together at the Temple each day…
Why did they still do this? The same reason Jesus had done so. It was a representation of the marketplace of culture and commerce. It was a gathering place of people. Could they worship God in that place? Obviously! Yet, their worship was less about the Temple structure and more about the open opportunities to share about the Risen Jesus and tell people of their hope and faith. Where is your temple? I don’t mean where do you go to church…I mean where is the place that you get to spend time to intersect with culture and commerce? It may be your work-place or it may be a social club and civic organization.
I believe those early followers of Jesus were not simply ‘worshipping together’ at the temple each day by singing songs and praying but that they were doing the Romans 12:1 and giving of their lives as an act of worship to their new King who couldn’t be held down by death.
I suppose I will always love a pretty church building. They can be sacred spaces. Even our unique little spot in the Mall is beautiful in its own right. However, I want to concentrate more on ‘Holy Peoples’ than ‘Pretty Steeples’. This means that I want to see God do beautiful works on our internal architecture more than the external. We want you see God adorn us with the spiritual fruits of patience and joy. You will pour out your life with the spiritual gifts of hospitality and generosity. Man-made buildings can’t do those things…this is why we need to focus on 1 Corinthians 3:16-17 - Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If any man destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him, for the temple of God is holy, and that is what you are.