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Do you respect the sanctuary?

I love a beautiful sanctuary. Of course, I am very much aware that church is not the building you sit in to worship; church is you.

But still, I really appreciate it when a church or fellowship invests time in beautifying the sanctuary. A few years ago I attended a wedding in Lubaga Catholic Cathedral – my first time inside that big church – and I could not stop looking at the detailed ceiling, the carefully selected soft colours and general cleanliness of the church.

Then more recently I went to The Plaza on Jinja road in search of a lunch time fellowship (Pastor Isaac Kiwewesi and his Kansanga Miracle Centre used to hold one there back in the day) but found that the cinema hall had, while I was away, transformed into a fully- fledged church under the leadership of Pastor Sam Kasanka.

I could not believe the beautiful transformation of the auditorium!

I love beautiful spaces; if we can beautify our homes and redecorate them every so often, how much more the temple of God? Kudos to church leaders, ministers and sanctuary keep- ers that dedicate time and resources to this service.

Which brings me to the others that do not respect these spaces where we go to talk to God. How can you fail to see a beautiful thing and preserve it?

The seats at The Plaza, for example, are all cushioned and the floor carpeted. Why would anyone feel no shame placing an undiapered baby in the seats or on the carpets to pee and do as they please?

Why would someone sit in a church and fear to have their hands wander, lest his or her fingers come up with chewing gum selfishly ‘disposed of’ by sticking it on the chair?

Once, as I was praying alone in my church on a weekday, a mother walked in with her toddler and sat at the back and also started praying. Then her baby cried, asking to go to the toilet, and I could not believe my eyes when the mother removed the toddler’s tiny shorts and told him to squat and do a ‘number two’ right there on the church floor.

By the time I spoke up to tell her to use the toilets, the business was done and our otherwise beautiful sanctuary smelled like...you know!

Christians, especially balokole, when shall we start treating God’s sanctuary with respect?

Interestingly, when we become born-again Christians, we are often coming from a Catholic, Anglican, Muslim or even traditional shrines background, where even eating inside the ssabo is unfathomable.

Then you go to a Pentecostal church and find it okay to have your children race through the aisles, jump up and down in the chairs or take a dump right there on the church floor? Astounding.

malita@observer.ug

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