When we began planning for our first church building, we committed to a simple idea – excellence without excess. Our desire was to build a functional, attractive facility but not one which was flamboyant or ornate. Our priority was to have a beautiful church, but we wanted to make sure that we never confused the church with the building in which the church meets.
A beautiful church can meet in a cathedral or in a grass hut. It can even meet under a tree in a field. The church, as we said at the beginning of this series, is the body of Christ. Those redeemed by the sacrifice of Jesus was the church – and the church can be a thing of beauty. If the church is not the building, then what does a beautiful church look like?
A beautiful church is one which reflects the image of Jesus. Jesus loved His Father without reservation and expressed that love in following His will without reservation. Jesus loved people so much that He lowered Himself to take on flesh, to dwell among us, to serve us, to teach us, and to die for our sins. Jesus opened the way to heaven to all who would believe. A beautiful church is one which loves God, loves others, and offers the hope of heaven to a fallen world.
Although we were not attempted to build a gorgeous building, as I was showing a guest around following a funeral service, she said to me, “You have a beautiful church.” She was right, she just didn’t know how right!