Amazing grace how sweet the sound…”
Voices rose in unison, but it was high school students instead of a robe-clad choir that sang the lyrics.
Harmonious music filled the building, but it was acoustical guitars rather than a piped organ that played the notes.
Florescent lights rather than religious fresco paintings stared from the ceiling.
Wooden bleachers instead of mahogany pews,
A plain wooden cross on a concrete wall instead of stain-glassed windows….
This was the scene in a high school gym, chapel service in a Christian school.
No visual match for the magnificent architecture and religious artifacts I’d witnessed on a trip to Europe where Roman Catholic and Greek Orthodox cathedrals dominated the landscape.
And yet, in this remote, unassuming school, God’s Spirit was present.
Wooing teenagers; igniting hearts for Christ.
Youthful hands, raised heavenward, proclaimed God’s holiness.
Troubled souls came forward and asked for prayer.
As a parent, I worshiped with the student body; observed a glimpse of God’s grace and glory revealed in “His church” which isn’t made of bricks and mortar.
“Do you not know that you are a temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?” (1 Corinthians 3:16)
Can I wrap my mind around that fact?
Regardless of church affiliation or denomination, as a follower of Christ, I belong to the:
Body of Christ (Romans 12:5)
Bought with His blood (Acts 20:28)
Brought together as one to “worship Him in Spirit and Truth” (John 4:24)
“For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said, ‘I will dwell in them and walk among them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.” (2 Corinthians 6:16)
Surely the splendor of a cathedral is reminiscent of Solomon’s Temple; a microcosm of God’s own beauty and majesty.
But Jesus told a Samaritan woman the place of worship isn’t important. How people worship matters.
“Woman, believe me, an hour is coming when neither in this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, shall you worship the Father. But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the father seeks to be His worshipers. God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth” (John 4: 21, 23,24)
God is spirit, He is everywhere.
And “the spirit or the soul of man, as influenced by the Holy Spirit, must worship God, and have communion with him. Spiritual affections, as shown in fervent prayers, supplications, and thanksgivings, form the worship of an upright heart, in which God delights and is glorified.” (Matthew Henry’s Commentary)
Even in this place….chapel service at a high school gym.