Last month we talked about filing cabinets. This month…let’s talk about doors. We have a lot of them at Marlborough Congregational; some with plaques and name tags, some plain and unassuming. If you aren’t involved in some aspect of the behind-the-scenes work at MCC, you might not even know some of them are there. That’s also where we keep some of our stuff: wreaths, props, the live nativity costumes, etc. But something else is back behind MCC’s doors…knock-knock. Who’s there? HISTORY!!!!!
That’s right. History. Behind the door in Pastor Val’s office bathroom is a board which had been found years ago by Pastor Bob in the former “upper storage area,” which is now our wonderful balcony. It has some chalk writing on it from the 1800s, which we will shore up, seal to preserve its historic value, and display it. Behind the attic door off of the music room is our old chandelier. It originally held eight oil lamps for lighting the sanctuary and has become fragile. We’ve even got one of the original lamps, but there’s only one (it still smells of oil). You’ll be seeing those items soon!
What history is behind the big yellow doors out front? Well, there are pews, which have textures from 182 years from all kinds of action. They’ve been hip-checked as we scoot past one another and are worn from folks gripping the backs to steady themselves as they stand. They’re creaky from being sat upon over and over and they’ve heard almost two centuries of whispering prayers and proclamations of joy.
That’s what I mean by experiencing history. You can read all about this place and the people who were in it, but it’s sometimes different when you let the living history move you. At MCC, that experience is often as simple as sitting down on a Sunday. This is history you can touch and it’s history you can see.
If you’re there in person, notice how the floorboards flex beneath your feet. Maybe run your hands along the backs of a pew and consider how many hands had folded there in prayer before your own.
If you watch from home, check out the tall windows designed to let in maximum light from days long preceding electricity. Look more closely at the cross in the chancel, whose wood comes from the church and was constructed by Jay O’Brien. It’s historic already and it’ll survive all of us to tell stories to our children’s children’s children.
Doors do far more than open and close. Our big yellow doors swing wide and invite us to share in a rich and spiritual history. It’s all there for us to see and experience, right before our eyes and beneath our fingertips. The doors are open, come on in. Whether you’re a new face or an old friend, welcome home!
Until next time…I’m history!