Preparing for Worship

by | Aug 27, 2021 | Preparing For Worship

Preparing for Worship – LeAnn Hampton. 

We abandoned all responsibilities on a recent Saturday to explore small towns in Cook and Montague counties. In the Cook County town of Lindsay (population 1,257), we saw the silhouette of an unusual rooftop just south of Highway 82 and turned down the first available street to satisfy our curiosity.

Within a few blocks, there was a brick arch with the words St. Peter’s Catholic Church and the church just ahead of us. It is one of the historic painted churches with a marker that states, “Organized in 1892, the present church was erected in 1918 to replace the original church which was destroyed by a tornado. Lindsay settlers, Germans whose lives centered in the church, furnished much manual labor for the building and saved old windmill towers to be used as reinforcements in concrete.”

The building exterior was lovely — the interior, breathtaking and awe-inspiring with amazing frescoes, stained glass windows and intricate carving on the altar. It is truly a sacred space that invited us to silence our voices, slow our pace, observe the beauty around us and sense God’s presence. For me, it brought a new appreciation for the text from today’s anthem, “Come Dwell in Solomon’s Walls.”

According to the church’s history, in 2009 “gorgeously painted plaster began to crumble and fall from the walls which led to the discovery of other structural issues and a two-year renovation at 100 times the cost of the original building.” What motivated multiple generations of parishioners from Lindsay to maintain this treasure despite seemingly insurmountable challenges? Maybe it was what they learned and experienced when they dwelled there. As our anthem suggests, perhaps as they prayed together, seeking wisdom and strength, they found that God does heal, restore, forgive and bless. Their life experiences taught them that the house of the Lord is a place for learning and practicing wisdom and righteousness, justice and holiness.

As we were leaving, an ordinary hat rack by the door held a couple of new baseball caps. On the adjacent wall was a picture with a plaque honoring the priest who served there in 1899, a reminder of both the beauty of the past and the promise of the future. As we worship together, may we be reminded of God’s provision in the past, God’s presence with us today and the promise of God’s faithfulness for the future.