Angola Day 1

To recover from the timezone change we hit the ground running today in Frankfurt. The idea of staying here to recover and organize ourselves will prove to be a good one I have no doubt.

20120124-223255.jpgFrankfurt is a city of many things, including many historic churches. Given our charge on this journey we took time to see several of them this afternoon. It never fails to impress entering a 500+ year old holy building. Many have taken different forms over the years, but traversing ground deemed set aside for God’s purposes for better than half a millennium forces some reflection. I seek, like many of us seek, to build ministries that last. What does that mean though in the face of these kinds of timelines?

One church we went too is currently serving as an active Lutheran church right in the heart of Frankfurt. It wasn’t overly large, and wasn’t more than a worship space. No obvious sunday school rooms or offices, it dates from a time when the purpose for church space was worship and not much more. It had an impressive organ and stained glass that were simply breathtaking. It sat no more than 100, but offered services three times a week. In German I’d expect.

20120124-222843.jpgOne thing I didn’t expect was to find, right off the entrance, was a coloring table for kids. There, in the worship space, a nicely done setup for kids. I’d imagine this helps keeps the kiddos entertained while mom and dad admire their surroundings. But as I looked at it I realized I was impressed by how much it did fit, as much as how it seemed out of place. For some reason, a little table with a box of crayolas seemed perfectly in harmony with a building originally constructed before Columbus even set sail.

In there somewhere is an insight about building things that last. If you really, really, want things to endure than there can be no fear about taking a step back and asking “What are the barriers?” and “How can we overcome them?” Any parent knows that bored children are a barrier to many things, including admiring stained glass. To over come this keepers of this long time sacred ground were willing to embrace what for some was likely a radical notion.

The secret to “lasting”ness, willingness to reevaluate and change. Willingness to make accommodation for what previously unknown. Willingness to place the important over the trivial. And, wisdom to know the difference.

Tired now. Need sleep.

More tomorrow.