Vienna Diary
October 17

When I walked into St. Stephens Cathedral in Vienna, this was my reaction:

Oh. Wow.

Wikipedia says that St. Stephen’s Cathedral was first built as a parish church in 1147 and rebuilt and enlarged over the centuries, with major new work concluding in 1511.  (And if you read it on Wikipedia, it must be true).

But it wasn’t the age that awed me.  Even though the feat of building such a huge edifice in the 16th century is incredible.

And it wasn’t the centuries old tradition that awed me.  Though that carries it’s own amazing weight.

And it wasn’t thinking about the dozens and hundreds and thousands of worshipers who have loved God over the centuries that awed me.  At least it wasn’t that exactly. 

But what really affected me with reverent joy and grateful awe was the fact of God.  The awesome, incredible, mighty, loving God who is El Shaddai.  On the one hand the Almighty, all powerful, Creator God who, on the other hand, loves us personally and nurtures us individually and gives us each what we need in order to grow and to flourish if we will let Him.

And I had to pray.  I had to sit down, there, in the pew, in the middle of the tourist swirling around me and thank God that no matter how big our buildings get and how weighty our numbers get, He sees us individually and loves us each uniquely and wants each of us personally to know Him and talk with Him and learn from Him.

How cool is that?

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