Ceramic Church, by Amy Real Coultas

Y’all know it’s been Christmas out in the stores for a while.  A few weeks ago I came across these two churches which are being sold alongside various little village buildings.  On first glance, they’re not too different.  Quaint little ceramic church buildings all lit up, ready to be placed on mantles or fake-snow-covered sideboards across America.

But look more closely–these two churches express two very different identities.  One is white, glittery, and pristine.  Three robed choristers stand in front of the church doors serenading passers by with carols.  The bell swings in the steeple.  All is washed in sparkly white and silver.  The building feels closed up, all the light coming from external bulbs.  A classic (if oddly glittery!) life-size nativity scene is set up on the corner of the lot.

In the other, the colors are just a bit too vivid, the warm light spills out through the windows.  There are two signs to the right of the door: “Canned Goods” and “Christmas Donations & Toy Drive.”  The sidewalk is blocked by donated food, blankets, stuffed animals, even wrapped gifts.

Isn’t it interesting that somewhere a marketing team has decided these are the two most expected images of the church?

Which church is most appealing?  Which says most about what Christmas–God becoming like human beings–means?  Which church looks most like your church?



3 thoughts on “Ceramic Church, by Amy Real Coultas”

  1. I was glad to see these choices of what church might look like. The only tweak I’d make in the church on the right is to open its doors (though, given the snow on the roof, the assumption is that it’s cold). The idea of a church that gives it all away is very compelling. Under the best circumstances we wouldn’t have to choose between them: We can offer beautiful music and worship and tradition even as we welcome all, give to those in need and offer warmth and light.

  2. I thought the same thing, Judy! Although, with the snow, I assumed they were being earth-friendly and keeping the heat in! 🙂

  3. The church on the right also has a very prominent cross. I don’t see a cross on the church on the left (though it may be cut off at the top). But that cross surely is an emblem of self-giving love – the kind of love we are all called to embody. Self-giving love led Jesus to give his life on the cross. Most of us will not be asked to give our lives, but still, we are called into a life of love, including the canned good donations and all kinds of other ways that Christians put love into action.

Comments are closed.