Saturday, September 22, 2012
Steeple on the Ground
Everyone knows steeples belong on roof tops. They cause us to cast our eyes upward and then even beyond upward as we are reminded of the transcendant message being proclaimed. Like the holy mountain on which Moses received the Ten Commandments, steeples are not made for touching. They are too high to ever touch. They point us away from the earth and to something beyond ourselves. The steeples we see sit above the church and symbolically point us to God.
So, what happens when your steeple is on the ground? Some years ago a church in Savannah had its steeple taken down by tornadic winds and it sat on the ground pointing upward for several years. Only recently has it made it back to its place on top of the roof. And just the other day as I went by a church I pastored before retirement I saw its steeple on the ground. It was no surprise as I had been reading in the church's newsletter about the need to move it for roof repairs. But more than reading about it, I knew about the need for roof repairs because while I was there buckets sat at strategic places in the balcony on rainy days.
But, still there is this question. What happens when your steeple is on the ground? What happens when all the things which have always pointed us to God no longer seem to have such a prominent place? What happens when the holy becomes commonplace? What happens when there is nothing which directs us beyond ourself? What happpens when it seems that this earth and all its pursuits is really the center of our universe? What happens when your steeple is on the ground?