The church on a hill. Known to be the oldest Lutheran church operating in Australia, it celebrated its 150th year in operation last Sunday November 12, 2006. Built by early German and Wendish farming settlers in Victoria in 1856, it can only seat 32 people. It has no toilet, it has no electricity, it has no airconditioning, it has no kitchen, no dining area, no Sunday School facilities, and today it is the home church of only 8 adults and a dog!
What on earth is the point of this? It is certainly by today's standards foolishness to continue operating this church. In fact, it is good for the museums! It has only one use, you might say -- that of a historic tourist spot - perhaps it may earn its denomination some money in the process.
Thomastown Lutheran Church defies our modern way of thinking. It defies our pragmatism and our idea of church. People might say, well why go on? You might wonder though that of the 8 some people that worship there only one can trace her roots to the early founding settlers, all the rest may be considered new comers!
The church on the hill just would not simply roll over and die, it embarasses the modern mind and is offensive to our upward mobile thinking. So one wondes why is it still kicking and ticking, when in fact nothing is happening there? How could God be in any thing so ancient and small? Ahh but perhaps something is happening. Why is it still operating today? It is there because as one of its former pastors' say : it is there and still exists today because God wants it so.
"'Look, you scoffers,be astounded and perish;
for I am doing a work in your days, a work that you will not believe, even if one tells it to you.'"
My wife and I are one of the "fools" who attend this church.