Brussels Building Style and Reformation

In the square in Brussels the boys are tying jackets and scarfs and shirts together for a tug of war or possibly a territorial defence against the cookie-selling girls-troupe across the square. This square was alive and well. A new generation schooled on the European Union was engaged in conversation about Spain. I did not understand all the nuances of EU politics. The discussion was grounded in a realpolitik that should make CNN blush.

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Any way you look at the square it is both public space and meeting space, gathering space and playing space, private space and communal monument. One more chance to practice the proverbial selfie and somehow we manage to capture a few buildings, a few wrinkles and a few other visitors. This was a public square and we were welcome.

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Across town an architectural detail that was more than stunning… It was pointed toward heaven. The turret at the intersection provided vista and light. The break with rectangular shape brought the sanctuary to the housing unit.

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In our Sunday morning walk we saw more than buildings. A bell tower for the next generation. The moving figures accompanied the ringing and visually confirmed the time. On top of the building the large bell sounded hours.

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On the Sunday morning walk we paused to worship in the “post reformation” church. The art was gone, the paintings stored and the stained glass geometric with an absence of created forms. Time has a way of purging excess and in the creation of a better way there is loss. The building styles of this city have suffered. The hope is that the social fabric, the balanced place for every creature will over-take the regression in thinking. This is the centre of the EU for refugees, the unwanted, the disposesed and the marginalized. May our sense of reformation enfold them in ways that Luther never imagined. The reformation was about grace. May we share enfolding grace with all who sojourn with us.

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