I recently visited La Sagrada Familia, a basilica built in Barcelona, Spain by the talented Antoni Gaudi. Gaudi is known for his modernistic art style and embellishments on buildings. You can see some examples here.http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/320.
I saw the basilica from a distance and was intrigued by its style because it isn’t the normal cathedral. It’s different.
Gaudi, world famous architect, built this building to tell the story of Jesus. The story of salvation, grace, redemption, and miracles….from the beginning.
Looking up to the front of the cathedral there are intricate carvings of Jesus’s birth, the wise men, travelling to Egypt to escape certain death, and Jesus as a young child teaching the scribes in Jerusalem. It is covered in carvings of flowers and birds symbolizing creation and the explosion of joy when Jesus’s prophesied birth took place. You can’t help but feel happy when gazing at the statues. http://www.sagradafamilia.org/en/symbolic-visit/
The passion façade depicts the death, burial and resurrection of Christ. It is much darker with a feeling of dread and goth. There are so many details like Peter denying Christ and the rooster crowing, to Pilate washing his hands to clean himself of Jesus’s perceived guilt.
When you take the tour and gaze upon the story, you HAVE to learn about Christ and his life. It’s a given. Is that what Gaudi planned? I believe that God used Gaudi and his talent to create a missional story to the world. A way to show his love and the Bible to the millions of people who will never read it, but will visit a tourist attraction.
Millions of visitors come to La Sagrada Familia every year. They come from all over the world speaking 100’s of different languages and many different walks of faith. They come because it’s the number one tourist attraction in Barcelona and it’s a World Unesco site. They come because the Pope dedicated it. They come because it’s beautiful. And because they come, they hear the story of Jesus and his love. They can’t HELP but hear it.
And this is where I’m going with this. My life should be a beautiful basilica. An example of Jesus’s story. When people meet me and get to know me, my life should tell the story of God’s grace. I want to have a side that is exploding in joy because of Jesus’s birth and life, but a passionate side that tells about his redemptive grace.
I’m studying the book of Revelation this year. Wow. Just writing that gives me chills because for years I’ve been terrified of that book. It scared me. But the more I study it, the more I understand that it’s another way to prophesy God’s goodness and plan for my life. It is becoming my desire to make sure that everyone has heard the story of the redemption of Christ. That Christ wants them to know Him and not to turn away. He’s coming back. He is merciful. He gives us what we DO NOT Deserve. But His death on the cross and his resurrection gives us the ticket to be washed in His blood and forgiven.
I think about Gaudi and the talent God blessed him with. What if he had said no? So many times I say no. I don’t listen to what the Holy Spirit is telling me. It’s uncomfortable or embarrassing. I don’t want to rock the boat. But that is wrong. I want to live on the edge. To be different. I want to be a tourist attraction where people ask questions and research my faith.
I want to tell the story of Jesus… just like La Sagrada Familia.