Thursday, July 28, 2016

The Walls of a Cathedral by guest author Eleanor Gustafson

My guest today Eleanor Gustafson is doing a giveaway of one of her books. Winner gets to choice which one. Leave a blog comment below to enter the draw.  TWEET THIS

I love cathedrals. Have you ever visited one? I‘ve stood in many and even climbed to the tippy top of St. Paul’s in London. The history of these magnificent buildings is fascinating. Did you know that “a cathedral is symbolically a ship bearing the people of God through the storms of life?” (Wikipedia) They were built as centers of worship for large populations. One might argue that God’s Church is not a building. It is, rather, a community of believers who gather for worship in whatever space is available.


But for Christians throughout the ages, cathedrals were built to glorify God and were as grand and beautiful as wealth and skill could produce.

In medieval times, the building of a cathedral serves as a metaphor for believers. A quote from the novel, Pillars of the Earth, by Ken Follett:  PIC 

The walls of a cathedral had to be not just good, but perfect. The cathedral was for God. And because of a cathedral’s great size, the slightest lean in the walls, the merest variation from the absolutely true and level, could weaken the structure fatally.

The walls of the cathedral had to be straight.  The walls of our “temple” also need to be straight. We can’t push that metaphor too far—it lacks grace—but it jerks us away from any casual presumption on God’s grace. If you know anything about the Old Testament Ark of the Covenant, housed in the Holy of holies, you know that it did not allow for casual presumption. The high priest makes one misstep or wrong move and he’s dead.

The God of the ark has not changed. He demands perfection. Our sad reality is the fatal, fundamental flaws built into our “walls.” BUT Jesus the Messiah came to make our walls straight.




May the words of this song be our prayer: 


One holy temple, rising, of living stones is made;
One sure foundation able to bear the weight that’s laid
upon the cornerstone.
The Architect has laid the living Church of Jesus
        assembled in His Name.

We sing, “Build us true;”
      Your level measures straight.
We sing, “Build us strong;”
      We know the hour’s late.
We sing, Build us tight;”
      Divided houses fall.
Cement these stones You’ve fitted for glory,
      Lord of All.  ~Steven James Weibley

ABOUT ELEANOR GUSTAFSON

Born in a NJ county that had more cows than people.

Went to Wheaton College IL.
Married a multi-tasker, 3 kids, 8 grands.
Tried on the cloak of writing; found it fit well.
God first touched me through story, and he still speaks through story. I love Him passionately.

Links:

Email: egus@me.com
Blog www.eleanorgustafson.com/
Twitter: @EgusEllie
Facebook: Ellie Gustafson


Dynamo    



4 comments:

ralphdjames said...

...and building high encounters resistance from elements that want to knock the cathedral down. We need God's flying buttresses to hold us up against the wind.

Ping said...

You make me remember my cathedral visits, Ellie.

Evensong, Salisbury Cathedral

O small boys' voices
Lifted high among
High-lifting stone,
Pierce spire-ward
God-ward.

O strong men's voices
Undergirding among
Buttressing, weighted stone,
Sustain earth-ward
Man-ward.

May we, earth-rooted
Heavy weighted
Rise exalting
As thou art rising
O stone choir.

In the mute
Arching stone silence,
In the vault-filling
Choral salience
We adore thee,
O God,
With word and stone.

D.R. 4-9-82

Ellie Gustafson said...

Whoo, Deb! Such a fine cathedral you built out of words! What can I add to that but HALLELUJAH! And even that seems to lack substance. THANK YOU!

Jr. Williams said...

What is with motivational speakers?
influential