Monday, August 2, 2010

Memory Monday: Church and Faith

Sometimes life is too full for any extras; one only has time for the basics; blogging becomes a luxury item.
However, I do so appreciate Mocha with Linda's Flashback Friday prompts. I look forward to them on Thursdays, and begin to ponder the subject. Digging through the rubble of long-ago memories is a very good exercise and my findings will contribute to the memoir I hope to continue writing. Therefore, I have decided to respond anyway and give it a different title, one I have used in the past--Memory Monday. I may even attempt to link up with the others, but first I must compose this post.

Did your family attend church when you were growing up? What are your earliest memories of church? Did you attend VBS (Vacation Bible School) when you were young? Sunday School? Other church activities? Was faith a Sunday-only thing or did it impact your life and the things you did? If faith and church were not a part of your growing-up years, when and how did you begin and what drew you to God?
My parents were missionaries so I grew up in the church, almost literally. At first the services were held in our living room until the congregation grew and was able to build.

My father was not only a 'church planter', he was also a church builder, literally. And my mother always worked right along side him along with the men and boys that joined in the digging, brick laying, plastering, painting and all the aspects of construction.

Over the many years, Dad must have been involved in building four churches and three houses as well as making many pieces of furniture. This Templo Evangélico is the one I hold dearest because this is where I grew up, in Don Bosco, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

I have memories of listening to many a sermon. As children, even as babies, we sat in the service, there was no nursery.
Dad was not only good with his hands, he was a great Bible teacher and preacher. He could sing beautifully and play several instruments. I took piano lessons and eventually became the 'organist'. Well, not really, the instrument was a harmonium, a small pump organ that looked something like this:

I was very young, maybe three and a half, when I heard and understood that the Lord Jesus wanted to have a relationship with me personally and with each one who would simply invite Him into their lives. The famous image of Jesus knocking on the door and the words of Jesus in Revelation 3:20 (Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him...) are what stand out in my childlike experience. What has been true my whole life is the ongoing relationship that follows ...and dine with him, and he with Me--a wonderful friendship and fellowship.

I don't think I ever confused 'church building' with the Church, meaning the body of believers worldwide. In our travels we have seen a wide variety of church buildings. Some huge and ornate, built over centuries, still standing and in use hundreds of years later. (See Saturday's post.) Others smaller, simpler. Our tradition tended to put less emphasis on the physical structure and more on the spiritual teaching, just different.
God is worthy of great honor and glory, even pomp and ceremony. Yet He looks on the heart of each person no matter where or how they worship.
Jesus said,  God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth. John 4:24 
He also said, I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.  
John 14:6


Mocha with Linda said...

I'm so glad you jumped in, even on a Monday! I loved reading your memories of being an MK.

Kim said...

Reading your memories is good because it helps me understand Ivan better, since your experiences were pretty much his as well.

Anonymous said...

I would like to exchange links with your site
Is this possible?

Lhoyt said...

When the church becomes an organization rather than an organism, its buildings take on much more importance. It took me too long to realize the difference.