Steeples Or Strip Mall

Sitting out looking out at the ocean while in Mexico, I have been reminded of something i heard last week. There are times when we just need to feel a sense of reverence in our lives. Back some years ago I remember walking around the corner in Venice to behold St Mark’s Cathedral. The tears that filled my eyes could not be contained. The awe that was felt was something that allowed me to experience something that I don’t think I had felt in a very long time. As churches evolve and seek places in which to be available to neighborhoods, it seems that many are choosing to locate in Shopping Strip Malls. Probably due to financial or location concerns, the strip malls have attracted numerous churches. With these thoughts in mind, there are some ideas that have made me question some of our modern day decisions.
As Randy and I searched for a church home after moving to Arizona, we discovered the different “feels” that came when we walked into the diffferent churches. As a child, I remember the feeling of quietness, reverence and holiness when walking into a sanctuary. Each week as my parents and I would walk into the church, no matter how hectic our morning had been or the arguments which maybe had ensued in the car headed to church, as soon as we would walk into the church, there seemed to be a peace and quietness which drew me into a feeling that i was now in the presence of God. We were never allowed to run in the church. We never brought food or drink into the sanctuary. It was looked upon as someplace special. It was God’s House. It was a special place to be. We we were taught to honor it.
Today as we entered church after church, there would be kids running in and out, folks thinking that they might not survive if they have to go an hour without their coffee. One of the churches we attended meet for service in “the box”.
Please understand that I am not saying that God is not in these places. I know He is. But it seems sad to me that we are not teaching the next generation to reverence or honor God’s House. We are missing sometimes that part of Christianity that allows us to feel That sense of awe and reverence . The churches with the steeple seem to be a part of the past.
Maybe if we begin to enter our church, no matter whether it has a steeple with a green lawn around it or a restaurant located next to it, with a desire and determination to enter with our minds made up that we are entering God’s holy place, our hearts and minds might enjoy a little more peace, quietness and holiness that He desires to give us. Quietness… “Be still and know that I am God”

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