Fire, Holy Week, Lent, Notre Dame, Paris
This blog post is part of a series that I began for telling our story. You can read the first post here.
I will return to my current mini-series about the week that changed everything tomorrow. But sometimes, current events dictate a bit of a detour…
Notre Dame is burning down as I write this. I don’t know what will remain by the time this post is uploaded tomorrow, but from the sound of things it is likely to be a total loss. And I’m heartbroken.
My heart is broken for the history, the architecture, the art, the landmark. I am sad that I will never get to see it. I am sad that my niece, who dreamed of going to Paris, will miss seeing it by a MONTH. I mourn for the people of Paris who have lost a piece of their city that has existed for centuries.
I can’t say I know exactly how you feel, but I can imagine because I’ve been there. Five years ago, my childhood church was wiped out by a tornado. I still grieve for the loss whenever I see reminders of the physical place that helped to root my faith. I’ve also spent four different Holy Weeks grieving for the loss of the god I had made up in my own head, one that didn’t exist but was tied into what I thought should happen in this world. Sometimes buildings can be part of that. Sometimes it’s a congregation. Twice for me, it was what I thought my family should look like and my general sense of safety.
But the God of Scripture, the one who has always existed, who created the world and everything in it, has never left. He is not limited by our architecture or our location in the world. He is not limited by our sense of loss or need for safety. He is not limited by fire or flood or storm. He works in and through all of the mess of this world. In fact, over 2,000 years ago, He entered INTO THIS WORLD and INTO OUR MESS, to redeem it. That’s what this week is about. That is what Christians all over the world recognize and celebrate during this annual journey from the cross to the empty tomb.
I am sad for the people of Paris, who will not get to celebrate in a place that has held worshipers for hundreds of Holy Weeks. But the loss of this iconic house of worship cannot stop the people of God from gathering and praise Him. We’ve been doing it since the day the stone was rolled away, and we will keep doing it until Jesus comes back.
Next post coming tomorrow.