The Catholic Church in Antigua was built at the height of colonial power. From the outside it looks grand. It was first constructed in the 1500’s and then rebuilt in the mid 1600’s. However it was completely destroyed when a volcano erupted just outside of Antigua in the 1700’s. If you visit the beautifully rebuilt city, you will see the front edifice of a grand old cathedral. It’s the focal point of Antigua’s central park; its steeples still scraping the sky. For a few cents you can tour the insides of the old church. As I walked into the ruins, the first thought that popped into my head was, I hope the people of the church, God’s church, aren’t in shambles on the inside like this old cathedral.
God calls the people who believe in him his church and as a community of believes we are the body of Christ. A body doesn’t function well if it’s insides are all messed up. I know this from experience. Over the last year and a half I have been sick numerous times and it sure is difficult to work when you have a fungus growing on the inside. The wrecked inside of the church was a beautiful sight. The roof had collapsed ages ago and all the old pillars lay in piles. It was like walking through a building that had been bombed. While the ruins were a beautiful sight, I hope that no one ever walks into a functioning church and thinks, “wow this looks like a fall out zone.”
While these pictures show the Cathedral’s beauty, I’m sure this wasn’t how the building’s architect envisioned it looking 400 years after it was built. And as beautiful as the people of the church may look at times I’m sure God envisions more for us each day.
4 thoughts on “Empty Churches”
This was a blog I wrote a while back after visiting Antigua. I wasn’t able to publish it until now because of some stupid HTML problems. I hope you all enjoy.
Very well written, Brens. Thanks. And a perfect analogy.
I’m not sure I want anyone, even God sometimes, to see waht’s going on inside me.
But even the ruins are beautiful. Is that another picture of life? God can makes our messes beautiful too.
Great picture and I never thought to compare the church to that, but what a picture. I do agree, Dad ,that God can make our messes beauitful! He is a great and MIGHTY GOD!
We sang a song in chapel this morning about something similar to this….
“You make beautiful things, You make beautiful things out of dust. You make beautiful things, You make beautiful things out of us.” We are so broken and so messy and yet He chooses to use us. Simply amazing.