I sometimes wonder if we don’t build churches on purpose to warehouse God, keep God in storage; visit Him occasionally, but otherwise not have to deal with Him. I wonder whether it wouldn’t be better not to have a special building to come to worship but to move things around, stir things up, gather at different locations each Sunday, so we don’t get into a routine, a rut, so we can understand that God can be and is everywhere… just as Jesus gives thanks, blesses and breaks on the mountaintop, on the plain, in the homes of Pharisees, tax-collectors, rich men, fishermen, upper rooms and Emmaus…all are where He is.
Instead, we get stuck in the stable and we want to keep Him there always…while God is out in the fields telling the least of these, my shepherds,…He is up in space, leading good gentiles to the new-born King of the Jews,…he is even in Herod’s castle, tantalizing, inviting Him and the rest of the Israelite elite to recognize that He has come among them at last. But we are still back, trying to close the doors on the stable, when the light of creation has already escaped and is penetrating the pores of humanity.
Perhaps we should, instead, join the Spirit and the shepherds, the angels and the magi, and go out into the world, praising God and telling all what we have seen and heard.