Still With Us

November 7, 2001
by Pauline Hitchcock

Matthew 28:19 – Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age. (NIV)

Today was a perfect Nova Scotia day. The leaves were golden, scarlet and every fall colour. The sun was strong, causing long low shafts of light — God's creation. We decided to drive to Lunenburg. We passed the three churches in Mahone Bay, witnessing the beauty of God's world in a magnificent setting, colours reflected in the ripples of the sea.

We were on our way to look at the ruins of St. John's Church, recently burnt down in an act of arson. It was the second-oldest church in North America, built in 1753 by the first settlers here. Until the church was built, open-air divine services were held in English, French and German.

Today there was a gap in the distinctive skyline. The familiar "Carpenter Gothic" tower was gone. The ruins were black and stark. Remnants of what used to be were still there: open, empty cupboards, some walls, and the main door.

We saw the top half of a broken stained glass window, such a sad sight, but the unbroken picture remaining was of Christ, His arms outstretched in blessing. Behind this were burnt pews and the interior blackened, smelling and dusty. Beyond, in the far wall, were two windows, tall and thin, still intact, with the sun shining through, bringing to life their images.

What was this? It was a message, clear and true. The building is gone; Christ is still with us.

Prayer: Dear Lord, we thank you that in the midst of a broken world you are always with us, and that, in the light of your love, we can go forward with confidence and know you are with us until the end of time. In Jesus' name, Amen.

About the author:

Pauline Hitchcock
(deceased)

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