A couple of years ago, my daughter Erica and I were in Guatamala and while there, visited an interesting church in the city of Antigua. We enjoyed the service. It was alive and reaching a lot of people. It reminded me of The Bridge in many ways, except I couldn’t understand most of what was being said. ?
The church held its services in a hotel that had been a Catholic Church complex way back in the 16th century. The ruins were turned into a museum for the general public, so we spent an hour or so after the service looking around. You can see in the picture above, we found an entire burial site, still with bones, intact and visible, that had been on the church grounds in a courtyard area. Another open burial site was located directly below the “worship area” of the church that was reserved for high profile priests.
It’s an old Roman Catholic practice to bury their dead under and around their churches. I haven’t researched the history, but I imagine it flows from an erroneous way of thinking that surrounds many of these practices, as though where we are buried or any superficial ritual will have an impact on our eternal destination. Being buried under a church doesn’t make you any more spiritual or get you any closer to heaven. It just means you’re dead, like everyone else who’s dead.
But honestly, I don’t think church is the place for dead people.
I hope you are not a dead person in church.
By dead, I mean spiritually dead. You can be physically present, not unlike the bones we saw in Antigua, but just being there gives no special spiritual significance. Like an old preacher I heard say, “Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than climbing a tree makes you a monkey.”
Just because there is a lot of spiritual life at The Bridge doesn’t mean you are part of it just by being here. The question is, have you been made alive in Christ? Have you experienced what Jesus talked about when he said, “You must be born again”?
We’re glad you are coming to church and we want you to keep coming. But more important than that, we want you alive, spiritually alive, experiencing the abundant life that Jesus came to give you. We want you to know that you are saved, forgiven, and have personally responded to God’s offer of grace by receiving Jesus into your life.
Don’t wait until you’re dead to find out you’ve been dead all along. Receive God’s gift of salvation while it is available.
“Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God” (John 1:12-13).