On our trip to Great Brittan, France and Italy I visited and spent time in several cathedrals and famous churches. St. Paul and Westminster Abbey in London; Bath Abby in Bath; Notre Dame, Sacre Coure, and St. Chappelle in Paris; and the Doumo and Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan. I will continue my daily blog on my reflections from my time spent in these churches.
When I was in London and I looked at St. Paul’s Cathedral and its massive dome and cross on top it is an impressive monument to the glory of God. As I looked at it though and I pondered the wealth, resources and lives it took to build it, it is also an impressive monuments to greed and exploitation of man.
Great Britain grew rich on the slave trade, or from the sale of slave-produced sugar, in the 17th and 18th centuries. It also grew rich from the plantations of tea farmed by indigenous workers in its African Colonies. Brittan grew rich from the take over and colonization of countries around the world and the taking and exploitation of their resources. It also grew rich from the opium trade in China. Families became millionaires, rich from the exploitation of countries and trafficking on humans, and so did the church.
So when I stood and looked at St. Pauls, (and I am not singly it out or London as the same can be said of the cathedrals, Palaces and monuments in France from its conquests by Kings and Napoleon and Italy as well) I see and get sense of just how much, how great of things greed, power, and injustice can create. The beauty these cathedrals display to the world were forged out of the ugliness of world and human conquest. The cross placed at the top of them that represents the ultimate example of servant hood sacrificial love for the church, sits atop an ultimate example of dominance and greed of the church.
America is not by no means exempt of riches and wealth gained from slavery, human trafficking, exploitation of nations, and people. Lets step down a notch and you look at the churches in the US today, the church you attend. Though it may not be a cathedral to your eyes, however it is in the eyes of 80 percent of the world. A visitor from Kenya, Sudan, India and other countries would see it as I saw St. Pauls: these people are rich and wealthy! The we build worship centers to a level of comfort beauty of those of our homes that are a monument to God and a monument to materialism. And placing a cross on top of them for all to see does not hide from God what he sees below it. I am not sure God likes that his cross representing suffering servanthood is placed on top of St. Paul’s representing power and greed. And I am not so sure God likes that his same cross of suffering servanthood is placed on top of our churches representing materialism and comfort. And we could also step down again and look at the cross hanging on the wall of your home or the Icthus fish on the back of your new car.
My ODC family, I pray today you will allow the Holy Spirit to lead you to honestly reflect on what is built beneath where sits your cross. The cross on your church, the cross on your home, and the cross around your neck. Please pray the same for me. God bless you my Friends!
One Direction Community-Lead Follower
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