Today, Carol and I toured the building of the year or of many years, "The Cathedral of Christ the Light" in Oakland, California. When most people think of touring a Cathedral, it produces a mental image of a giant cruciform stone building with much stained glass. Grand but overdone. Most of the famous ones are in Europe or maybe in old east coast cities. Having been raised in a conservative Christian environment, I know that most people that I have met think that such buildings are unnecessary or at least a waste of money. Well Well Well
The Cathedral of Christ the Light is one of the greatest examples of Architecture, I have witnessed. I were in a tour group led by the design Architect and the diocese provost. To say the least it is a far cry from the churches who say, "We want a Colonial church or we want one like the metal building one in Springdale. You know lots of space and low cost so not any windows."
This is not one of those. The Catholic Diocese wanted to replace the cathedral damage in the 1989 earthquake. They asked for "Spiritual home" and a place that told the world about Jesus Christ. The plan is in the shape a the fish, the walls bring in light, as in "the light of the world," the baptistery pool as you enter the building symbolizes the path to Jesus, the giant image of Christ a the altar is actually a large metal panel with are computer generated 94,000 perforations that create the photo of a famous statue in Chartres Cathedral in France, and I could go on and on.
It was built downtown between Office buildings and a park lake to show the church's relationship to the world and nature. They wanted a building that spoke of the future and also have relics of the past. They did not want a building of a style that had nothing to do with the people of Oakland (i.e Mission style, Romanesque, etc.) The long ramp outside the entrance is the pilgrim's walk that comes toward the cross over the entrance (the alpha entry), then the baptistery and on to the altar and the photo (the omega).
I would challenge the most conservative, don't waste the Lord's money, Christian to enter this building and not be overwhelmed by how God and Jesus is honored and glorified. While our group was there another five tour groups were there and each was hearing the story of Christ. When has our buildings attracted people from all over the world just to hear and see the story of Jesus and his disciples. This building proclaims that Jesus Christ is the Light of ALL Nations.
By the way: At night it is a Light in the midst of the city becoming a lamp. They say that this is to reflect Revelations 21:23, "The glory of God gave it light, and its lamp was the Lamb."!