“The Church Upstairs”
All Saints’ Day
November 4, 2018
Text: Ephesians 2:19-22
When I was on my Vicarage I spent a lot of time in the church basement, because that’s where our confirmation class was on Wednesday nights and that’s where a lot of our youth activities were. Most of the basement was a large room, a little smaller than the sanctuary upstairs, and it was divided up into different areas by old partitions. There was an area that the ladies used for making quilts, and another area where items were collected that were to be given away. It was nice, but it was a little beat-up. You know how church basements can get after 100 years. It had served its purpose, but it had seen better days, and it was never anything fancy even when it was brand-new.
Of course, what was upstairs, that you couldn’t see from the basement, was beautiful. The congregation had been very faithful in renovating and updating the sanctuary every 25 years or so from the time the church had first been built not too long after the Civil War. And it was a beautiful sanctuary, with lovely stained-glass windows and an ornate altar and a large baptismal font and great pews and wonderful combinations of colors on the walls. It was everything that you would want a Lutheran church to be. But none of that was visible from the basement. If you lived in the basement, if you never saw the upstairs but were only told about it, all that you could do was believe what someone else told you about it, try to imagine what it was like, and hope for the day that you could see it for yourself.