Gothic: Look Beyond the Ceiling

I’m rather fond of Gothic architecture: soaring spires, pointing arches, rib vaulting and stylised tracery. These examples are from Lincoln Cathedral which I visited in the summer. Late English perpendicular architecture always draws the eyes aloft. One seldom enters a building in that style without bending back the neck. Every arch, every pillar, every vault invites that upward gaze. Sadly, there was little truly Christian material found at Lincoln Cathedral. Though it sells statues, tea towels and general tourist tat, one is hard pressed to find something of spiritual worth available to buy or read. Our eyes are drawn to the ceiling, but not our souls to heaven.


The way I lead worship has changed. I used to include anecdotes, personal explanations, light-hearted jests. Now I’m serious and solemn and I avoid personal pronouns. Anything which draws the eyes from Christ and away from His majesty and dignity is nothing but chaff and spittle. In church, may we pray, may we read the scriptures, may we sing, may we be silent. But may we not deflect out attention from the Beloved, to think about worthless tripe and shallow dross. May we look up, not down, neither to the left nor the right. 

“Sir, we would see Jesus.”

John 12:21b

Then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.

Luke 21:28b