I know that “the church” as in the body of Christ is not made up of a building. But, that doesn’t mean that I don’t love visiting different church buildings that are part of the body. To see different things that they are doing, the differences, and the overwhelming similarities are all very heartwarming to me. I recently visited a small Baptist church in the town I live in. It was for an occasion which is sad and happy. Sad because a friend is being said good-bye to, happy because he is now with Jesus. But, we congregate in those churches to say good-byes, welcome new babies, witness marriages, cheer at VBS closing ceremonies, and participate in worship.
Pews, chairs, benches – some covered in cushions, made of burnished hardwood, or metal folding chairs can hold us as we squirm during a long service or hold a sleepy toddler close. Designated areas may hold tissues to wipe away our tears, places for hymnals and Bibles. It may be turned into a child’s writing area as they color during different functions.
It may take the form of a little white steepled building, or perhaps a living room, or even under a big shade tree. The church can be in any of those places. It doesn’t require walls of a certain color or stained glass. An organ and piano are not necessary. But, God’s presence in the midst is absolutely necessary.