Wednesday, February 11, 2015


I didn't realize it then, but our 9th-10th grade Sunday School class was given great freedom.  Since the youth area would be remodeled, we were permitted to graffiti our classroom walls in their remaining months.  Living dangerously for me was drinking expired milk; so the prospect of spray painting my Sunday School classroom was positively exhilarating.

After a few hundred layers of graffiti were applied, we settled in our hip and fume-filled classroom.  We knew the walls would soon tumble, but until that day the space really felt like ours.

Most of us have an area in the building that feels like ours.  Maybe you've served on the kitchen committee since the 90s and the spoon drawer is organized thanks to you.  Perhaps you participated in a bathroom remodel, or purchased a new sound system in memory of a family member.  Maybe the choir room was where you gave your life to Christ.  Maybe you've been meeting in the same Sunday School classroom for forty years, and you've weathered illness, marriage, heartbreak, and celebration together.  These spaces feel like yours, and oftentimes for very meaningful reasons.

I am guilty of saying the building is just a building, but I'm not sure just is the right word.  The church is the body of Christ (the people!); however relationships, table fellowship, conversation, and celebration often occur under the roofs of these buildings.  When I return to my childhood church I peek in some of the classrooms. I see Mrs. Duvall teaching me to write the books of the Bible on tongue depressors.  I see Mrs. Jackson passing out GA books and leading us to pray for missionaries all over the world. 

I'm not so sure the building is just a building.

What makes the building more than a building are the relationships it holds between its walls.  Unfortunately, conflict can arise when love of walls eclipse love of relationships.  And if we aren't careful, obsession with walls can lead us to commandeer rooms as my space.  And when space becomes mine, we hold it with a death grip. 

If a growing senior adult class needs a larger space in which to meet, another class will need to offer their space.  This is all easier said than done.  We all have opinions how space is best maintained, managed, and organized; but if we can agree love of relationships eclipses love of walls a healthy foundation will be laid. 

In the end, these buildings are not my space.  They're not your space.  They're not even our space.  They're God's space.  Here's hoping we are good stewards of God's space together.