Considering that my last blog post was about an ornate, massive cathedral, this one is going in a slightly different direction. While the grandeur of a cathedral can lead me to worship, much simpler churches can do the same.
We had the opportunity to attend a very old and tiny church near our cottage this past summer. It was built in the 1800’s and has been preserved and kept as it was in the past. There are old, wooden pews, oil lamps, and no heat or air conditioning. The first time I walked into the church many things took me back to the church I attended as a young girl (especially the hand-held fans with the picture of Jesus.)
Everything from the picture of Jesus in the front of the church to the board with the attendance numbers felt very nostalgic to me. On the back of the pew in front of me were old hymnals and a bible. As I pulled out the hymn book and began to leaf through it, I found this taped in the front. The words to this song captures what I was feeling at that moment.
My eyes filled with tears as I though about how much my Dad would have loved this little church. He would have enjoyed the old hymns as well as the speakers who really taught scripture. My Dad passed away shortly after we bought the cottage last year so was never able to attend this little church with us. Even though I know he is in a place that is better than any cathedral or old brick church, I still miss him.
Feeling nostalgic was touching, but then the service started. A sweet, older man led us in singing hymns. He wasn’t as refined and polished as most of the worship leaders are in many modern churches, but you could tell he LOVED singing those old songs an meant every single word–it was a beautiful thing. As I sang the alto part to hymns that I had sung as a teenager it affected me in a way that it didn’t when I was young. Having experienced 40+ years of life since singing them, the words had a much deeper meaning.
We actually helped to set a record attendance of 39 one week and as a person who usually attends a VERY large church, it was moving to be a part of such a small congregation. People had either come because they have a cabin in the area or they were camping at the nearby campground. Even though we were all strangers, we were united in our faith.
The church is only open from Memorial Day through Labor Day so I will miss that little church until next spring. 😦