Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Notre Dame Cathedral's Fire and the Glory of God

Our Jesus Christ is under attack yet He says He has overcome the world. I went to the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris when I was in my early 20s. One of the most beautiful cathedrals in the world - most renown cathedral without a doubt. It is famous for its rose window - the giant stained glass that greets you as you see the cathedral from the square it sits. As an architect, we studied how Notre Dame perfected the Gothic cathedral building style and set the standard for all future cathedrals to be built in the world.

The devastating fire yesterday was a great loss to this world. They say then can rebuild again but what is lost is the history of the building itself. That cathedral was a result of a community effort of master artisans and crafters who put all their differences aside to create something greater than themselves. It took almost 200 years to build the cathedral. It took only a few hours for the main spire to fall. How devastating; how incredibly sad; how confusing; how hopeless and helpless everyone felt.

Yet, with God there is always a yet.

Yet, we don’t know how this will eventually point back to God’s glory. Was it only to help us realize that what we discussed on Sunday was truth? That in reality, nothing lasts forever? No matter how famous or amazing? That all fame and glory of this world is temporary. That even 850 years is just temporary compared to eternity? Or, is it more? Will God show himself to a world that has moved so far away from Him that most do not know who He really is? 

One thing I do know, with a deep belief in a God who is always in control of all things, we know there is a reason for everything. I know there is a reason a cathedral that has stood for almost a century would come down so suddenly with the whole world watching. Because while the cathedral was burning and although intended for evil by the prince of darkness of this world, the whole world was focused on the light of this world. It IS Easter week, folks.

What a devastating blow for our Christian belief, it seems. Yet, with God, there is always a yet.

As the whole world watched the most famous cathedral burn down during Easter week, yet the whole world talked about church on Easter week. As the whole world saw a devastating blow to a monument, yet a debate of what church really means ensues. No doubt God’s name has been proclaimed more times in television and social media more than ever this year. His name proclaimed: in the fire, His glory is revealed.

No doubt, at the very same time that the world watched the spire come down, many wondered about this God that the Christians believe in. This Jesus who they say was crucified for us. This heavenly Father who would inspire so many people for over 200 years to build a cathedral just to worship Him. They would now wonder more than ever before, who is this God they speak of? 

So for almost 12 hours yesterday and undoubtedly as the non stop news coverage continues today, God will be on everyone’s lips - on social media, on the internet, on television. 

Now, we are focused on Him; some of us will be focused on His glory more than ever before. For others, they may find Him for the first time. And so, now they have hope.