Some through the fire, but all through the blood.

For months Saturday mornings have meant “The Lego Jar”, a random sampling of the week.  This week I could not find the energy.  Friday was a long day.

I woke up Friday morning to news that our church building had burned and was a complete loss.  My initial reaction was an overwhelming amount of emotion.  I went into shock and wandered around the house wondering what I was supposed to do.  It is hard to hear the words “fire” and “total loss” in a matter of minutes.  That is bad enough.  Then came the words “arson” and “intentional.”  Wow.  There is no text-book for handling this one.

I eventually got into the shower and tried to regroup.  There are a lot of questions that need answering, but I wasn’t going to get them pacing around the house drinking coffee.  I needed to plan youth group that night.  We were not going to cancel because the church burned, or should I say especially since the church burned.  God graciously opened up doors for that and we had a meaningful time together.  He also opened up other doors.  The media wanted sound bytes and they seemed to keep coming for more.  What an opportunity to share the true substance of the church!  I told one reporter that the building is important, but not as important as the God we worship.  She seemed genuinely interested by that.  The comments I received from another reporter asked the same type of thing.  They wondered: “how is it that you all can have such faith in this.”  I was able to respond with: “because we look at this rubble and we don’t just see devastation  we see hope.  That is what this season is all about.  The same hope at Christmas is the same hope we have when we look at this — the hope of a savior who comes and saves us.  So that’s what we look for, and that’s what we’re holding on to.”

It is amazing how such an event can bring so many people from the community out.  I do not know what the path looks like from here, but I know who leads us along.

The entrance of the church.

The entrance of the church.

Looking to the front of church

Looking to the front of church

IMG_2482

A Bible pulled from the rubble-- reminds us of God's faithfulness

A Bible pulled from the rubble– reminds us of God’s faithfulness

“Some through the waters, some through the flood,
Some through the fire, but all through the blood;
Some through great sorrow, but God gives a song,
In the night season and all the day long.”  chorus of hymn – God Leads Us Along (George A. Young)

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18 comments

  1. Derek,

    I have passed this on to family and friends we will all keep you and your church in our prayers. You are absolutely correct in that fact the church is group of people who worship and not a building. The faith of God endures and that is what makes up a church, not a physical building.

    MJ

  2. My heart goes out to you and your congregation Derek. Words fail me right now. I have kept one church bulletin by my side here at my desk. Its a reminder that God will provide, if he provides for the birds of the air and clothes the grass of the field. If I can do anything for you or your church family please let me know.

  3. Derek,
    I’m so sorry to hear about your Church building. I can really appreciate your attitude though. Like it says in Matthew 18: 20 ~ “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”
    I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers. Blessings.

  4. I just wanted to let you know I read your post and am grieved at the loss. May God be faithful to deliver his promises of provision in the days ahead. I have deep gratitude and thankfulness that no one died or was injured (right?)

    Nancy

    1. Thank you. It was early morning with no one at the church, so no injuries. There were a lot of firefighters there, but there were no injuries with them either. That is good news, I agree. God is faithful. He will provide.

  5. I haven’t thought of that song in a long time. I used to sing it at church. God will use this to show who He is to all. I am so glad no one was there at the time. I guess your church was doing something right to make someone want to harm it. I have been praying for you, even though I haven’t been around the blogosphere for a while. God bless you. Angie

    1. This song was especially poignant during this time for me. I sang it over and over again. It is meaningful to think about how God leads us through various things in life — but all of us must go through the blood of Christ. Beautiful – Thanks for praying for us. It has been a challenging couple of months.

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