One Sunday a couple of years ago Jonathan and I went into the sanctuary after service.  He was almost two at the time and had not seen much of the church except the nursery.  It was a sunny day and the light was streaming through the stained glass windows. From the expression on his face, I could see that he was impressed.  He confirmed this when he said, "God's house is a pretty house."

That simple thought sparked   me to thinking about my own experience with "God's house" in my lifetime.  Over the next week and many times since then I have tried to reconstruct my own experience.

I can recall my Uncle Homer leading the singing at Gum Grove Baptist Church in Mississippi (a small white frame building near where my father was raised). The strength of his voice encouraged even the most timid to join in to make a joyful and beautiful sound.

There was the picture in my mind of people happily visiting after service at Westminster Presbyterian in New Orleans. This was my mother's church in her teen years and mine as well as a young child.

I think of the Camp Street Church of Christ where my Great Aunt Rebecca taught Sunday school for nearly 50 years bringing to young children the joy of learning about God.

At one time God's house was my family home outside New Orleans when services were held on Sunday afternoon for a small group of people who were unable to attend morning service. This was conducted by Joseph Duet and his wife Mary (known to us a Mama and Papa Duet) who were in the lay ministry for the Presbyterian Church. Frequently the words were French but even though I didn't speak the language I could understand the strength of God in this couple.

God's house was once in the late 60s in a YMCA meeting room as my family joined to help form church in Houston under the leadership of Dr. Tom Curry.  This church was located between two universities and drew from both the black and white community. Here we all learned from each other, as we built a church which continues until today.

There were many more experiences, but what became most clear to me as I thought about "God's house" was the fact that His House was not the place but the people who made that House. As the children's song says, "I am the Church, You are the Church, We are the Church Together."

 We must thank the Lord for each other.

Whatknot 2/98