Thursday, January 19, 2012
I had the opportunity to visit our local Episcopal Church one evening this week. It's a beautiful, old building made of massive gray stone-blocks. It dominates a corner in a residential neighborhood located near the town square. Each evening, the church's exterior is artfully lit so that its many elegant architectural features are showcased. The intricate stained glass windows shine out into the night, illuminated from within. With the newly fallen snow frosting the yews around the church's perimeter, I had to just stop in my tracks and take in the beauty of that exquisite old church building. For just a moment, I was transported through time and place. The scene looked like something right out of a little English village -- what I picture when reading a Miss Marple mystery. I love old churches. I'm a lifelong member of a church that's more than 100 years old. Old churches have a patina, a familiarity, a presence, an inviting demeanor. They've experienced a lot in their years, offering both a place of solace and celebration to generations of worshippers. They've heard the sermons. They've heard the hymns. And they've heard the prayers lifted up by earnest voices. In a time of rapid change where we crave and elevate all that is new, old churches represent a steadfastness for me that I appreciate more and more.