- St Francis of Assisi
Reading: Or, to put it another way, you are God’s house. Using the gift God gave me as a good architect, I designed blueprints; Apollos is putting up the walls. Let each carpenter who comes on the job take care to build on the foundation! Remember, there is only one foundation, the one already laid: Jesus Christ. You realize, don’t you, that you are the temple of God, and God himself is present in you? No one will get by with vandalizing God’s temple, you can be sure of that. God’s temple is sacred—and you, remember, are the temple.
- 1 Corinthians 3.9-11, 16-17 (The Message)
Reflection: On Sunday our faith community will consecrate its newly renovated worship space by… tearing down the walls! Shocked? At first blush you have every right to be. It’s been so long in the coming, this renovation, and we have invested so much time, heart, soul, and resources in its completion. Why should we tear down the walls after all that? The short answer, from my perspective, is that we have to tear down the walls to be the faith community God envisions for us… we have to tear down the walls to consecrate this space to its unique purpose: welcoming the neighbor, whoever she or he may be; offering a safe place to grow personally and spiritually; becoming – as we Disciples say – a movement for wholeness in a fragmented world; and celebrating with all who come within ear shot the mystery of God’s presence in, with, through, and for us.
We have to tear down any and all walls that close us in, tie us down, or in any way impede our going into the world to be love, compassion, and justice. We have to tear down any and all walls that bind our spirits: envy, bigotry, pride, or fear. We have to tear down any and all walls that prohibit us from recognizing the one truth that should guide us into God’s future, so eloquently expressed by St. Francis, “The Infinite has no walls.” I am so ready! I invite you to join in the festivities… oh, and bring that neighbor, because she or he is welcome here. Who knows, it might even feel like home.