Notre-Dame: Bastion of Christianity, Will Rise Again!
by Nick Bishop
The cathedral of Notre-Dame was constructed in the years 1163-1345 and built during the reign of King Louis VII and has seen many kings and queens crowned. Situated on an island in the middle of the Seine, it has been a bastion of Christian worship for precisely 856 years. This fine example of Gothic architecture has been a spiritual and historical place of interest for many visitors.
The cathedral holds many relics said to be associated with Christ, for example, the crown of thorns. While these kinds of relics are honoured by some, others regard them as rather dubious. However, they may still serve as signposts and testimony which can be found in the New Testament.
For lovers of medieval architecture, the fire was a tragedy of historical connotations and a body blow for the French nation. For many Christians, it is the destruction of a beloved house of worship and a historical reminder of the Christian faith.
It is fitting to pay tribute to the French firefighters who bravely tackled the blaze bringing it under control as quickly as possible. Notre-Dame has been undergoing renovation, but whether this work has anything to do with the inferno, is unknown at this time.
One image shown by the media, was a golden cross, standing firm in the midst of destruction. This powerful image reminds us of God’s presence and that he can be found in the midst of the greatest of disasters.
President Macron has vowed to rebuild the cathedral, no matter how long it takes. The French government has already asked world-renowned architects to submit plans for the rebuilding of this ancient structure.
In the Bible, we read of the destruction of Solomon’s temple, by fire. Just as Notre-Dame means so many things to people today, the destruction of Solomon’s temple by fire (caused by the armies of Nebuchadnezzar) had a similar effect on people, several thousand years ago.
Isaiah laments: “Our holy and glorious temple, where our ancestors worshipped you, has been burned with fire, and all that we treasured lies in ruins”. Those words could easily describe everything that has transpired in the past few days.
It is widely agreed that the destruction of Notre-Dame is a tragedy. However, whether a building that’s being used for worship is a shed, someone’s house or a grandiose cathedral, it is at the end of the day, just a building. God’s church is not about the buildings we use to worship, it is about the people, those who work for the church and those who worship.
God bless you xxx.
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