God willing, this Sunday, I will be worshipping at the Basílica i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família in Barcelona, Spain. You’ve probably seen pictures or heard a few pieces of information about this church. Construction began on the Sagrada Familia in March of 1882, and it is still under construction. The expected completion date is sometime in 2026. For more than 141 years, work has been done to build this place for worship and praise and awe and place to magnify the name of Jesus.
I’m struck by a couple things. As our family takes a trip, I’m so incredibly thankful for you, for your friendship and partnership in the name of Jesus. Travel invites you to appreciate the blessings of God. I’m struck by the church throughout the world, some struggling and some thriving. I’m struck by the global reach of the Gospel of Jesus. I’m struck by the universality of the catholic (small c) church, the universal or global church, in many many forms. I’m struck by the generations before who had the forethought to build, plant and begin churches all across the world. I’m so thankful for folks who 55 years ago were planing to build a church in the Lakewood development just north of Norwalk.
More than the rest, I am struck by the idea that we continue to work towards completion. This church, pictured, has been under construction for 141 years, and it’s not done yet. I’ve been under construction for 45 years, and I’m not done yet. We continue to grow and be shaped and formed by the Gospel of Jesus. We are stretched and transformed by the generations before us who had the foresight to risk, to plant and to hand off to the next generation.
Couple questions then: How are you growing? 8 or 88 is no excuse! We are continually shaped by our faith. Have you ever considered the magnitude of the “globitality” (I think that is a new word) of the church? It is always local, but never just local. Our siblings in Christ gather in locations far and wide all across the globe. Consider with me too the need for the local church. Imagine saying to someone in need of direction, in need of hope or healing, imagine saying to them, you know, there is the place some 7,515 km away from Norwalk where people gather to worship, to find courage. No, it’s the local church, this church, this is essential to the lives of so many, and God willing more.
Pastor Mike is going to explore several parables that Jesus spoke some 1,990 years ago. They still speak to us today! You won’t want to miss it.
See you in church,