Church closets

Last week, my wife and I traveled to a funeral.

If you don’t know, she had ankle surgery two weeks ago to repair three tendon tears. She’s been at home with her leg up. The funeral was one of two outings she’s had in that time. Long story short, she fell at the funeral. As she lay on the floor catching her breath, I could tell she was in pain.

She’s told the story several times now. When she has, she’s mentioned something funny. As she was on the floor in pain she couldn’t help but notice how clean the floor was. Before we left the funeral she told me, “I could’ve eaten off that floor!”

That impressed her.

What’s the condition of your church floor?

Forgive me if this turns out sounding more like a pet peeve of mine than an actual daily devotional. I’ve been a part of churches that have still had that new church smell. My children also have a fond connection to “that old church smell.” Some of you know what that means.

No matter the condition of the facilities, you can take care of what you have. We say our sanctuaries and buildings are places people encounter God’s grace. We say they are gifts from God. Then why wouldn’t we take care of them as such?

There have been times I’ve seen Bibles used as doorstops and pews as garbage disposals. We’ve let furniture and other junk rot in rooms. And don’t get me started on church closets! There are few church events that include a proper clean-up. So, stuff tends to hang around for quite a while.

Okay, what makes me think this is devotional material? Have you ever known someone who took extra care of their car? You knew they loved that car. You take care of what you care about. Now, cars are just one example.

You get the point. 

In Song of Solomon 3, there’s a procession coming. Presumably, it’s a woman coming to meet the king. There’s no mistaking the pomp and circumstance of her arrival. The woman’s arrival is seen coming from the wilderness. Of course, this is Solomon’s ride. So, you’d expect it to be lavish. But there’s one line that struck me. Verse 10 says that the “interior was inlaid with love.”

Now, that’s not a cheesy love reference. There are several ways to understand what that meant. Still, it says something about what the vehicle was meant to be.

I don’t mean to suggest your church is the only place you experience grace or meet God. Not at all. I am also not implying you restrict the use of your buildings in the spirit of “not ruining our facilities.”

But these are places we’ve set aside as holy. Let’s take care of them as such. Maybe eating off the floor is a bit extreme, but it does say something to other people about what we think happens in our building. I’ll go so far as to suggest it says something to God about what we think happens there.

Stay blessed…john

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John Fletcher

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