September 28, 2011 Attractive Graves
Barb and I took a once in a decade trip to France in September. We split our time between Paris and Normandy. Of course we went to several of the ancient cathedrals such as Notre Dame, Saint Supplice, and many others. Whenever I enter one of these ancient places of worship, I try to find a quiet place to pray. Often on these occasions what struck me was the lack of reverence by others who came to these sites. People talking, taking pictures, and treating these once sacred sites as a mere tourist attraction. Grieved by the lack of spirituality and reverence, I thought of Jesus’ word, “You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men’s bones and everything unclean.” (Matthew 23:27) Whatever caused these cathedrals to be erected, the worship and honor of God, or the vanity of a king, they now stand as a haunting specter of a people who are spiritually separated from God. Missionaries testify that Christians are looked upon as “stupid” by the French. An attitude clearly demonstrated in the way they treat the ancient places of worship.
While I did enjoy fresh French bread, a few exquisite meals, and the company of my wonderful wife – I also at times was quite grieved by the dead spirituality of France. When we came home we enjoyed our first worship service in two weeks. Similar to a starving person grabbing and eating without thought of chewing – we worshipped God with fervor and great joy. I told our congregation that one must come to Detroit to know the joy of sincere spiritual worship. We should never take for granted the grace we receive in worship. So many people do not have what we have. Thank you Father that You show us constant mercy and grace. You have taught us to worship in Spirit and truth. Let us continue under your grace.