Once there was a lovely little church on a lovely little hill filled with lovely people. In fact it was so lovely that lots of people wanted to be a part of the church. Now the minister always said “There’s always room for one more” and warmly welcomed each and every person—even a whole extra congregation-- into the church. But eventually it got so that one person’s knees were on the next person’s back during the services and the children had to have their Religious Education classes in the bathrooms!
The people decided that they needed to find a bigger building; they needed to find a home of their own.
So they searched and searched and finally they found a building that was just right. Of course it was also on a lovely little hill, but it was filled with lots of not-so-lovely stuff and it needed lots of lovely work.
Even though the people of the church loved each other very much, each one had a different idea about what was the very most important thing to fix up in the new church.
Two crazy ladies who spent all of their time on the top floor thought that every square inch in the new church should be for children’s classes. They could just hear the children laughing “hee hee hee, hee, hee hee!” and they spent lots of time fixing up rooms with bulletin boards and wee chairs for the children.
One man who always had a pun on the tip of his tongue just knew that the most important thing in the new church would be the pews, after all, if the lovely people didn’t have a place to sit during the services, what on earth would they all do? So he spent all his time fixing and sawing the pews……And the saw sounded just like this. shhhhrup-shhhhrup, shhhhhrup, shhhhhrup.
There was a whole crew of people who thought that without healing gardens, the whole church wouldn’t mean anything to the lovely people—not really anyway. And so they spent all of their time digging and planting and watering the lovely new gardens. The watering sounded just like this:Whoosh, whoosh whoosh whoosh.
Some people thought that the kitchen was really the heart of the whole lovely little church and so they scrubbed and scraped and washed and organized organized organized the whole thing to be just right for the coffee hour and soup lunches and all the times the lovely people would break bread together. As they organized it sounded like this……shdup shdup shdup shdup.
Now some people thought that dirty old paint was unappealing and so they decided to spend every spare moment that they had for weeks and weeks painting and painting and painting so that all the lovely people could look upon shiny clean walls and doors. And the painting sounded like this…….swish swoosh, swish swoosh, swish swoosh.
And there was even more going on! Some of the lovely people thought that fabulous music was the most important thing and so musicians practiced and the sound system was tuned and tuned again. And that sounded like this: la la la la la la laaaaaa.
And one person who must have really lived at the new church all the days and all the nights thought that clean dishes were the most important thing and so he trekked all over the whole city from hill to hill searching out the right parts to make the dishwasher work just right to clean all the dishes the lovely people would use. And that sounded like this: clomp clomp clomp clomp.
Now remember, the people of the lovely churched loved each other very much, but sometimes the new church was so noisy what with everyone working on what they thought was the most important that sometimes it was actually hard to hear yourself think in the new church! What with all the hee hee hee hee, and the shhhhrup-shhhhrup, shhhhhrup, shhhhhrup. And the Whoosh whoosh whoosh. And the shdup shdup shdup shdup. And the swish swoosh, swish swoosh, swish swoosh. And the la la la la la la laaaaaa. And the clomp clomp clomp clomp.
But finally, there came a morning. Well, not just any morning. It was THE morning. The morning that all the people would sit in the beautiful sanctuary and sing the opening hymn and worship all together in the lovely little church. Now believe me, there was a lot of noisy church leading up to this morning. What with all the hee hee hee hee and the la la la la la la laaaaa, and everything else. And everyone was worried about the part that they thought was the most important. Would the bulletin boards be just right? Would the sound be OK? Would the coffee brew just right?
But……as they sat down together and breathed for just a moment everyone realized something amazing.
It was all the most important thing. Each and every thing that had happened to get that church ready to open its doors was the very most important thing. It all mattered. How lovely.
And there was something else all the lovely people noticed. For the very first time. It was very very, quiet.
And everyone, each and every lovely person smiled.
The noisy church had become very, very quiet. And it had clearly become…. a church of peace. Amen.