This week Notre Dame burned and people gathered outside and sang hymns, people around the world watched and shared photos from their visits. It struck me and others, not just because it’s a building but because it is a place where people have gathered, where significant moments have been shared because it was beautiful and symbolic.
That same day the Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem burned. The fire was smaller and was contained but it was also in a sacred space where people have gathered to pray from all over the world.
Last week three African American churches in Louisiana were burned, not by accident but by hatred. They were sacred places where the community gathered and was strengthened, sacred places where people prayed and sang.
This week we remember Jesus giving up his body which he referred to as a temple. We remember that he offered up what had been a center of prayer and healing and prophetic teaching. We believe that in that offering he was given new life, he was resurrected.
Money has already been raised to rebuild the churches in Louisiana, money has been pledged to rebuild Notre Dame, the Al Aqsa Mosque has been cleaned up. In the meanwhile, in this holy week, we sit in the ashes. In the meanwhile, we are aware of other places, sacred places that have been destroyed. In the meanwhile, we wait and work for new life, resurrection.