Andrea, our sheltered yet wise-beyond-her-years 8th grader, was stunned at the enormity and grandeur of the entire Crystal Cathedral campus......from synchronized waterfalls, manmade lakes and vast manicured gardens to sculpture, innumerable lavishly understated buildings appointed with exquisitely minimalist furniture, a soothing 400-person sanctuary, and, of course, the shimmering, transparent sky-high cathedral.
While waiting for the bride and her mother to arrive, we leafed through church newspapers and brochures. Andrea's eyes lit up......sports leagues for girls; musical concerts by popular Christian artists; lots of options for small group studies; fascinating and varied volunteer opportunities. A veritable cornucopia of activites for all ages. A holy Disneyland for the evangelical-minded.
The sumptuous Glory of Christmas production was in full dress rehearsel in the Cathedral. When leaving campus, we strolled by artfully-costumed actors and besaddled horses. Andrea and I waited in the cold starry night, listening to a rich baritone voice singing O Holy Night."Wow" she exclaimed. "Wow.....this is some....church?" She couldn't find the right word....it didn't fit her experience of church. "It's so beautiful." She breathed in, then shook her head. "Did you see who's gonna be here? They're my favorite group!"
She looked at me.
I gathered my thoughts, and softly replied, "Yes.....it's beautiful. Really beautiful. But it's not church. It's theater. It's entertainment."
"Oh yeah....you're right."