Whenever a building is remodeled, you get to see the building stripped down and unadorned. The walls are bare, the floors are bare concrete, and the building could be remade into anything: a home, a school or a storage shelter. Everything is clean and spotless, but it is empty.
Much thought has gone into where we are headed as a church as we have been remodeling. We strive to fill the new space with grace. We may feel protective of “our” church, the one that we have invested our money and our work in. We want to be sure that it is home to traditional, Lutheran-approved activity, nothing too different from what we’ve been doing before.
But it is clear that we can not keep the church empty. A hollow church gives no glory to God, and as science reminds us, nature abhors a vacuum. It is our calling to help decide what to fill the church with, and to see that it is filled with so many good things that there will be no room for hate or fear or any of the ills that plague this world.(Matthew 12:43-45) A church without the love of Christ filling every corner will be empty no matter how many people fill the pews on Sunday. We need to humble ourselves to listen to the Holy Spirit. We need to remember that “our” church is God’s, and we are the caretakers of His providence.