July 2, 2016

Empty Building

Category: Church,Theology - Ecclesiology :: Permalink

Sometimes people talk as if a church building is a waste of space. After all, if it’s used only for the Lord’s service on Sunday morning (and maybe evening), that’s still only one day’s use out of seven. Better, then, to fill it up with other things, rent it out all week long for other uses — do something¬†with it or not have it at all.

Couldn’t one say much the same thing with the empty chair at the table when Dad is overseas with the military? Why have an empty chair? It just takes up space at the table. But that empty chair represents and expresses the importance Dad has in the life of the family and the expectation that he will return and be welcome.

Richard Paquier puts it this way:

When a building is especially and uniquely intended for an encounter between the Lord and his people, it is likewise the customary location of the divine presence; it is the symbol of the divine presence in the secular life of the city. There as nowhere else, the holy word re-echoes regularly; there the sacraments are celebrated. From one Sunday to another, from one divine service to the next, the place of worship is in a state of anticipation. Even its emptiness between times declares its special destination and readiness for the divine presence (Dynamics of Worship, pp. 40-41).

Posted by John Barach @ 3:15 pm | Discuss (0)

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