Jill Jarrell Newsome
Tearing Down & Building Up
At church I have been writing about “Building B” which was the original sanctuary of our church. Due to safety and security issues, it must be demolished. To so many people, “Building B” is so much more than a building. One person said, “so many memories! It’s not just a building but people’s beginnings where they put prayers to build it, and then where marriages began, babies were baptized, children were taught about Jesus, Wee Care began ...it’s not just a building.” Because of that I decided to celebrate how God has used this place of worship for 59 years! I shared many stories that members shared about building b.
When we hear the word “church” we automatically think of a building. We think of the place we go to on Sundays. We forget we aren’t just going to church, we are the church! 1 Timothy 5: 7-8, “Give the people these instructions, so that no one may be open to blame. Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” Paul describes the church as people dedicated to doing whatever it takes to help others. In the Bible the church is always a reference to people and not a place. The church is a body of believers that live out the Gospel in their actions.
Throughout the Gospels, Jesus teaches on the characteristics of His people, reflecting the character of God in the world. The church was never about brick and mortar. It was much greater than that! Jesus did not leave building instructions for the church. He intended for us to come together and He would be with us. Matthew 18: 20, “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” Whenever we gather, He is present!
Paul tells us that we are growing into a holy temple in the Lord. Ephesians 2: 21, “ In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord.” Just like the brick and mortar of building b, we have become the dwelling place of God’s presence, the Holy Spirit. We have solid ground under our feet. Ephesians 2: 20, “...built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone.” The importance is not on a specific building, the importance is what was revealed and what was taught.
As children of God, we should be encouraged and confident that we are standing on solid, solid ground, regardless of what building we are in. There is hope and joy, safety and love, in this household of God. Our Father's arms are open wide. Let’s put our trust in Jesus, in who He is and what He did for us. I think the group at the 1961 ground breaking would love to know that 60 years later God is still moving in a mighty way! During this summer, when we gathered for worship outside, I was reminded, as many of you were, that the church is building people, not buildings. Church buildings hold the echoes of hope and salvation for many throughout the years. While we cherish our sacred memories created in them, let's remember that the real church is a family of Christian faith!
A new temple is under construction! The temple is the church, us, all believers in Christ as the building blocks. This building is magnificent and will never have to be demolished! So while buildings may have to be torn down, our church is still being built up!