A cathedral is a show-place by design. It grabs and holds our attention. It pulls us into another world; lifting our thoughts and pointing our hearts to the awesome reality of God.
Most people, when they think of a cathedral, picture a grand structure built by human ingenuity, with the aim of worshiping God.
When I think of this kind of cathedral, I think of the Sagrada Familia.
The Sagrada Familia is currently being built in Barcelona Spain. It’s one of the most impressive sights I’ve ever seen, and so far all I’ve seen are photos! But I’ve talked to eye witnesses too. They confirm what the photos portray – a grand structure – dazzling in beauty and epic in scope. Someday I hope to see it in person.
But recently I’ve been picturing a different kind of cathedral – a living cathedral – a cathedral of reclaimed lives. This one doesn’t depend on human ingenuity or design. This one is designed and built by God himself. This is God’s project and he’s really good at it.
The process is radical. He takes broken, guilty people, who are spiritually dead in sin, and makes them alive in Christ. Then he builds these “reclaimed” lives together into a holy temple, a dwelling place of God. In this way, God puts his love, grace, and power on display for the entire world to see.
It’s still a show-place by design. But rather than an impressive physical structure, it’s the life of the community of Christ that show-cases the reality of God.
Construction on the Sagrada Familia began in 1882. Antoni Gaudi, the primary architect, gave his life to this work. In 1926, when he died at age 73, the structure was less than twenty-five percent complete. The anticipated completion date is now set for the year 2026. Wow – impressive!
But more impressive still is God’s living cathedral of reclaimed lives. Ephesians tells us that this work began in the heart and mind of God before the foundation of the world. This is the greatest, longest, grandest building project of all time, and Jesus Christ himself is the cornerstone. He is also the risen, victorious lord, who is directing the day by day construction. Awesome!
Tomorrow at church we start a new series of studies on the Book of Ephesians:
“This Living Cathedral of Rescued Lives”
I’m looking forward to a work of dazzling beauty and epic scope in the church. That’s what God does.
photo credit: flickr