A Brief Reflection on a trip to Southwark Cathedral

Pronounced Suth-ukk

I wish I could understand why I always feel closer to God in Cathedrals. I know he’s not more present in those buildings than in plain white Baptist churches, but many times it certainly feels that way. Still, a weekday visitor to a Cathedral can be confronted by the Gospel, even if they don’t hear it preached. A weekday visitor to the Church at Brookhills – or even my beloved Brookwood – sees a very plain, utilitarian space, sometimes with absolutely nothing to set it apart from an auditorium or theater. And maybe that’s the key. Maybe I feel God in Cathedrals on Saturdays because Cathedrals continue to invite God into the space every day of the week. From morning Eucharist to evening prayers, the Cathedral is always a place of worship, a place focused on the Gospel. We Protestants are sometimes focused on worship, sometimes on money, sometimes nothing at all. Has our plain, practical, Protestant worship removed God from our churches – except when it’s convenient for us that He’s there? I pray with all my heart this is not the case. I want to feel the presence of God on Saturdays just as much as Sundays. My week belongs to God as much as my Sabbath. I pray we might all come to know this.

God, in your mercy,
Help me see you every day.
El Roi, look on me.
Look on me with favor.
Let your gaze assure,
Your nearness comfort
I know you want to be known.
Jesus teaches us that.
So in the dark times,
And in the brightest times,
In Cathedrals,
And in country churches,
Make yourself known.

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