With A Church Fire Destruction Comes A Time of Rebirth
Fire shows no mercy. With it comes utter and total destruction in the most unforgiving way. All we have left are the memories of what was.
Our community suffered a tragic loss early this morning. Our sister congregation, St. James Lutheran Church in Northrop, MN, burned to the ground. The pictures of the church fire showed no mercy. Even though I don’t belong to this church, my church’s pastor serves a dual parish with the one that burned. My children attended the elementary school that was attached to the church. Today, I am left with memories.
I gasped as I read the news and saw the pictures early this morning. My daughters were equally upset. A tear fell from my eye as I tried to put into context and make sense of what just happened. My heart hurt as I started to think about the reality of what this fire took away.
Our church is a very important part of our life, as it is for many of us in rural Minnesota. And we all know the church is a building where we meet – it is not the church. The people and God are the church. And although I do not know what type of decisions are being made at this time, I have a hard time thinking that this will bring the church to it’s knees. In fact, I actually think this will make them stronger and better. I understand the pain is very raw right now, but God is good always. He will never leave our side.
Although this is a little unusual, but I am going to look at what science tells us about the realities of fire in nature. The nature and science that God has provided us.
- Without destruction in nature, there can’t be rebirth. Rebirth starts almost immediately from the ashes.
- Just as the prairies of Oklahoma and Kansas just experienced, the grass will grow again no matter how devastating the fire. In fact, the prairie is made for fire. New wildflowers will appear where there were none.
- Fire is nature’s way of cleansing and invigorating the prairie . . . there WILL be a blanket of new green growth across the prairie like we have never seen. Ever.
And that is my hope and prayer for the St. James Lutheran congregation. I hope and pray that I will see a stronger, more dedicated and vigorated people like I have never seen before–all working for the glory of God. And just as fire burns every single living thing on the prairie, we will see new wildflowers – beautiful wildflowers. And we will see those “wildflowers” in Northrop.
God Bless the firefighters and EMT’s who so selflessly spent their time in the wee hours of the morning.
God bless the community because when one part of our community hurts, we all hurt.
God bless the school teachers as they deal with the loss and work to help the children understand.
God bless the congregation and the pastor as they painstakingly go through the recovery and rebuilding process.
Have you experienced a devastating fire such as this? How did you cope?
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Want to know more about the Oklahoma and Kansas fires?