This Sunday is, as they say, complicated. Not only is it the Sunday after All Saints (which we didn’t celebrate last Sunday because it was the kick off to our annual Stewardship Campaign) but it is also the Sunday before Remembrance Day. I also want to keep the focus on Stewardship in front of the congregation. As I said, it’s complicated.
But I think that there is a way to weave this all together by exploring the idea that we are stewards of not only the faith of our forebearers, but also that we have been entrusted with the care and upkeep of the heritage of our faith and the heritage of a place to worship.
I have come to love the worship space here, partly because of the light. Along the south side of the church there are a serious of incredibly beautiful stained glass windows. Each of these windows is flanked by gold tinted sidelights so when the sun shines through them, the whole of the worship space is infused with light. The yellow sidelights and the rich colors of the stained glass change the light in such a way that the blond oak woodwork almost seems to glow. As well the church is filled with that particular atmosphere of peace and serenity that comes from being filled with over 60 years of prayer and praise, laughter, tears, joy and sorrow. It is a place where people truly do experience the presence of the Holy. It is a sacred space. Often people come and want to look at the church and when I bring them into the sanctuary, they literally catch their breath.
But whose building is this anyhow? How do we be true to and honor and respect the hard work and sacrifice that our ancestors in the faith have made in crafting this beautiful place? In considering “the communion of saints”, this “great cloud of witnesses” that are cheering us on, what would they ask of us? Is this place simply a place where we come and soak up sanctity, or is it a place that we hold in trust for those who have come before as well as those who come after….who are those who came before, who are those who will come after…
The theme of Remembrance Day is “Lest we forget”. What are we in danger of forgetting….are we like the foolish virgins letting out lamps burn out because we have failed to bring enough oil to keep them burning? Will the bridegroom find us sleeping when he arrives?