Nehemiah 8:2-10; 1 Corinthians 12:12-30; Luke 1:1-4, 4:14-21.

Turning Over Stones

Here are some stones I have overturned to see what ideas are underneath. I hope you can grab hold of something, pull -- and discover that it has some homiletic roots for you.

A theme that I think is worth breaking open this Sunday is that of the Church being the body of Christ present in the assembly. In short, this is the Church and not the building itself.

We have all been in very different churches in terms of architecture. We have marveled at the vaulted ceilings of Gothic edifices, we have been warmed by the exposed post and beam construction of the country church, we have moved by the mosaic images of the modern, round church illuminated by a sky lighted dome.

We all have unique experiences of Church architecture from our unique histories of worship. Nevertheless, in the end they are simply buildings without our parish family filling the pews.

I recall some years ago when my home parish in Spencer was being completely renovated and taking a look inside in the midst of the renovation. The stations of the cross had been removed for cleaning, the stain glass windows had been removed for releading, the pews had been removed to be repaired and refinished, and workmen had set up staging throughout the entire interior. A radio was blaring classic rock tunes and the painters were cracking one-liners.

It was when our church community gathered in the church hall for our Sunday Mass that I realized for the first time what the Church was. It was its people, regardless of where it worshipped. It was a neat moment.

Even today when I enter our church from a bridged room that connects the rectory and the church the first thing I do after genuflecting is to look to see if anyone is in the Church. Why do I do this? I think it is because of my sense of Church being people and not building. I suspect that you may do the same thing.

Why is this an important point to bring home this Sunday? I think we begin to appreciate each other more, appreciate our gifts, appreciate how our family works together, and appreciate our many parts but one body.

I will be adding to these reflections in the next several hours.

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