This is the beautiful St. Nicholas Church-Lighthouse in Malorichenske, Ukraine. It was dedicated to Saint Nicholas, patron saint of sailors, and was built as a tribute to the memory of sailors, fishermen and travelers who have been victims of the sea. The building includes a museum with a memorial wall that holds the nameplates of people who have died in sea-related accidents. Visiting this lighthouse is definitely on my Bucket List.
The design of the St. Nicholas Church-Lighthouse reminds me of the unity that is characteristic of the body of Christ. First, the building is crowned with a golden cross. This, of course, symbolizes Jesus, the One whom we proclaim as Lord and Savior and the reason why the church exists in the first place. Then, beneath the cross, there is globe-like structure. This symbolizes the world (people) whom we are called to share God’s love with. The lantern is located right under the globe and it represents the Word of God, which we ought to read, study and live out so that it may shine in and through us. On the next level is the bell tower. The bell ring symbolizes the life-changing message (sound) of the Good News of salvation, which we must obediently proclaim to the world. On the ground level is the actual sanctuary where people gather to pray. This represents the fellowship of believers as they join together in one voice to worship God. And beneath that you will find a complex that holds a commemorative museum made up of 16 rooms, each telling different stories about tragedies at sea. These represent the countless lives and testimonies of those who have gone before us, many suffering martyrdom, in order that others may come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.
We are all an integral part of the body of Christ. Therefore, we should not forsake gathering with other believers to corporately worship God and to love on one another. Individually we are called to shine the light of Christ on those around us, but together, by serving in God’s kingdom, we can radiate that light beyond geographical and cultural boundaries to bring hope to a world that is lost in the dark seas of confusion and despair.
Prayer: Dear Lord Jesus, thank you for allowing me to form part of your church body and to help reach those who are lost in spiritual darkness. Thank you for all those who have faithfully served you by proclaiming the Good News of the Gospel. Strengthen me so that I too may honor you and be a faithful witness of your love until my last breath. In your precious name, I pray, Amen.
“He [Christ] is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church…” Colossians1:17-18a
“He [Jesus] said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.” – Mark 16:15
“Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” -John 13:35
“And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another…” -Hebrews 10:25
“Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.” -1 Corinthians 12:27