Friday, March 22, 2013

A Time to Tear Down

It had been standing on the hillside longer than anyone living could remember.  The old church had been built with sawmill lumber, free labor, and determination.  Most of the builders, resting now in the shaded cemetery up the road, sacrificed what little they had to see that the community had a place to meet and worship.  It was a job well done.

The little church with its high ceilings and no plumbing saw its pews overflowing at times.  There were days when the community met to pray during wartime and depression, days when they said their final goodbyes, and days set aside to remember and decorate the graves of loved ones.  Revival times packed the little house to overflowing, but the old hymns were just as lovely coming through the open windows to those gathered outside.

The calendar pages kept right on turning, and  the new generation, looking to the future rather than the past, knew it was time to tear the old building down for a new one.  The older folks groaned, not because they were against progress, but because  it seemed almost disrespectful to those original builders.  The tears flowed as the building came down.

We tie our memories to tangible things, and it is hard to let them go.  The old church house where I first heard Amazing Grace is gone, replaced by a beautiful modern one with a baptistery and fellowship hall.  Current members should be applauded for a job well done.  The Spirit of God that caused the first church house to be built has not changed, and continues to work in the new one.

Recently, I was there, celebrating the home going of a dear one.  The new windows do not open, but standing in the parking lot, it seemed I could hear the alto and soprano voices drifting out, filled with joy, covering me with their sweetness.

Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him!
How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er;
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus!
Oh, for grace to trust Him more!