Location, location, location!

Tomorrow during my sermon I’m going to be showing a picture of a church from the 4th century. Discovered recently by archaeologists, it’s believed to be built on the site where Jesus healed the man who was possessed by demons (the story where the demons go into the pigs!). It’s a beautiful location!

Old churches always make me think. Fourth century. That’s 17 centuries ago…there were Christians worshipping, coming to church on Sundays, praying, singing, reading scripture. Trying to be a loving community. And here we are now. What’s going to happen in 3800…seventeen centuries in the future? Will people be digging up the remains of an old building, and an old cemetery, wondering whatever was this building at the foot of the escarpment? What was this church built on?

It may not have been built on the site of Jesus’ original miracles, but it was still built on a miracle of Jesus. Hardy pioneers, carving land out of the virgin forest, found time to pray and worship. They were the first Mennonites to build a church here. Later on we’ve built other bigger buildings, all on the same property. And now it’s 2011. Here we are still praying, singing, reading scripture. Trying to be a loving community. There’s a miracle. The power of God’s love at work in a specific location; everyday people, leading everyday lives, faithful through the ages.

Today’s prayer: Thank you for your love that will not let us go! Help us to be true to your love, passing it faithfully on to the next generation.

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