This mountain range is called The Steeples. I love the name. Steeples point to the transcendent and remind us to raise our eyes above the dailiness of life to something greater.
At least that’s what I understand the architectural metaphor to mean.
Alas, I must admit that like a lot of other people who have been given the opportunity to forgive some of the institutions operating under many of those towers, at times disappointment causes me to lower my head in embarrassment. In fact, I avoided them for a quite a while. Buildings may express aspirations, but it is Christ himself living in the heart of his followers that enlivens those expressions. Without love they are simply stones, wood, nails, and glass. Without love there is more joy found in a field of wild grass than in a group of other members of the body of Christ.
Without love the steeples silently point to thin air.
Lovers point to Love.
“So I [Jesus] give you a new command: Love each other deeply and fully. Remember the ways that I have loved you, and demonstrate your love for others in those same ways. Everyone will know you as My followers if you demonstrate your love to others.” (John 13:34,35)
Without love, it’s all a gong show.
What if I speak in the most elegant languages of people or in the exotic languages of the heavenly messengers, but I live without love? Well then, anything I say is like the clanging of brass or a crashing cymbal. What if I have the gift of prophecy, am blessed with knowledge and insight to all the mysteries, or what if my faith is strong enough to scoop a mountain from its bedrock, yet I live without love? If so, I am nothing. I could give all that I have to feed the poor, I could surrender my body to be burned as a martyr, but if I do not live in love, I gain nothing by my selfless acts. (1 Corinthians 13:1-3 The Voice)
But, bless God, I have seen love starting to awaken in the big C Church (the one all believers are a part of and not just the folks who go to the building on the corner.) I have seen those who are willing to lay down their lives for others. I have seen less-than-perfect people get over themselves and rise to care for each other, to pray, to watch and wait, to give, to serve, to raise others up. I have seen, with my own eyes, folks who haven’t spoken to each other in years forgive and reconcile their differences. I have seen families torn apart by separation change and sacrifice for each other, encourage each other and see each other the way God sees them.
Only God could do this. This kind of love points to Him more than any building -or any mountain- ever could.
God is good.