Holy Week has brought an array of emotions and as I watched the reports of the blaze engulfing the Notre Dame Cathedral on Monday, I couldn’t help but be grateful and heartbroken at the same time.
Although nothing compares to the magnifcence of Notre Dame, my church contains beautiful architecture, one-of-a-kind stained glass windows, a stunning wooden ceiling and a world renowned Aeolian-Skinner pipe organ. I cannot imagine losing it, especially not the week of Easter.
Easter is a day when we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. It represents life after death. It represents recovery from tragedy.
Notre Dame is more than just a pretty place where millions of people pose for an Instagram photo (talking to you millennials) and it is certainly more than a work of art — it’s a church. There is a distinction between the building’s function as a sacred place of worship and the building’s beauty as a stunning piece of architecture.
The purpose of the church is not to celebrate our works, but to celebrate the works of God. As Paul wrote, “For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.”
While the people of France and Christians around the world were devastated, the pledge to rebuild the cathedral was happening. I read many negative comments on Twitter about the millions of dollars ready to be poured into the rebuilding of the cathedral. They (most under the age of 30) didn’t understand why that money couldn’t be used elsewhere.
We are, all of us, having a moment. In the aftermath of the fire, many have praised the structure as symbol of history and culture, paying no heed to its religious significance.
The loss of what the Notre Dame Cathedral has been cannot be calculated, but as we celebrate Easter, in faith we can say that Notre Dame’s best years may still lie ahead.
Being ok with transitions this Easter season
I honestly don’t think I was warned about all of the changes that were going to happen in my 20s. I guess these 10 years of transition are different for everyone.
Remember my Lenten column? I probably didn’t adhere to any of that. In order to experience the true meaning of Lent, I learned I needed to let go of some things. I was working too much, neglecting some important pieces of my life’s puzzle. I figured that the more I let go of my “old self,” the more I was able to appreciate the small, new moments of this life as a twenty something.
A few weeks into Lent, I stumbled across an article about how we speak and think and feel in the language of stories, and because of this, we sometimes get trapped by the certain ones that we keep telling ourselves. Her article was all about transition and I was hooked.
She considers this in light of a majestic, old oak tree that had fallen near her house in a violent storm. As she looks around, she notices a flowering fruit tree, once hidden by the oak. It is now sprawling in the sunny space, covered in buds, waiting to become blossoms, waiting to change.
The frustrating and beautiful thing about transitions is that they are always ongoing. There will never be a time when we are totally complete, when we are done growing and done changing. I think that our lives are an entire series of Good Fridays and Easter Sundays. When I find myself frustrated with the nature of transitions, I pause and try to think of myself as the flowering tree, waiting to blossom, waiting to change. Happy Easter!
Ashton Griffin is managing editor of The Henderson News. Her email address is email@example.com.
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