Our church held an auction on Saturday. The auction sale list included pews, stained glass windows, woodwork and doors, chairs, a clock, cookbooks, tables, shelving, a sink, cabinets, a food warmer and a combination safe. The church is not closing; it is growing and these are growing pains for the future of the church. Although all the items seem quite essential to the church's operation, most have been replaced by newer items in a newer location. The sanctuary will be torn down and a new one built in its place.
I have always been part of this church. I was born into it and everything in my life has revolved around being a member of this church. I was baptized here and married here. Our children were dedicated and baptized here, as was my husband. Family reunions were held here as were anniversary celebrations for mom and dad. All of my sisters were married here. And my parents' funerals were held here. But life moves on.
I'm excited that the church is moving forward, preparing for the needs of future generations. I would be sad if we clung to the old and allowed the past to color the future. Indeed, some traditions of the past will be carried forward and the faith we are built on will provide the foundation for what lies ahead. This is not the end. The sanctuary was comfortable and familiar but the new one will become just as loved. As new events take place the new building will be initiated with the love of the church family.
"To what, then, can I compare the people of this generation? What are they like? They are like children sitting in the marketplace and calling out to each other" (Luke 7:31-32 NIV).
We must look ahead at God's plan for us and breathe in the new life in Christ that is before us. The children will be our future leaders and decision-makers; they need to feel ownership of the new sanctuary. God is good and He will lead us through yet another transition.