Setting up in the sanctuary for services is serious business. The flowers need to sit just right, showing their “good side”. The liquid fuel candles need to be filled and the tapers adjusted to the proper length. The brass pieces need to be shined. The paraments with the proper liturgical color hung, table clothes and antependia to match. It takes a dedicated and experienced group of people to make sure everything is just right. And that is truly important because visual distractions would divert attention from the Word of God that is proclaimed here. When for example the altar’s antependium is crooked -depending on your personality – you will inadvertently want to jump up and correct it or feel uncomfortable having to look at it for an hour. Others may feel disrespected because the church did not carefully prepare for their gracious visit.
Look at the image above. It is blatantly obvious how the antependium is not perfectly centered. Here is the good news: It’s okay to not be perfect. As a matter of fact that is what the message of the church is all about. When Jesus appeared to his disciples after he was raised from the dead he showed himself. And what did the disciples see: The wounds still in his hands! Even Jesus did not overcome death without imperfection. If that was good enough for God Almighty, maybe our little imperfections are perfect enough in God’s eye as well. And if they are good enough in God’s eye, shouldn’t they be good enough for us? So while all our diligence in life is important – be it at work, school, home, or church – perfection is not the goal. There will always be scars left – even after resurrection.