2/27/2011 — Unless the Lord Builds The House

I’m working on the building
It’s a true foundation
I’m holding up the blood-stained
Banner for my lord
Well I never get tired, tired, tired of working on the building
I’m going up to heaven to get my reward
—Lillian Bowles and W.O. Boyle

Why is it,
that WE think we’re so important in God’s equation,
the equation, that is, that leads to redemption and wholeness,
holiness and happiness,
and the revelation of God to the world?

Since the time of Constantine,
the conversion that led Christ’s followers from being on the margins of society
to being entrenched in the middle of it,
we Western Christians somehow think that God is dependent on us,
almost as if God couldn’t do anything without us.

In thinking and acting that way,
we get in the way,
leading the world to say what Clement said years ago:
“Christianity is a myth and illusion.”

Our songs suggest we think that the creation of God’s kingdom is about us.
“WE’RE working on a building,” we sing.
And if we keep at it, we think, then
we’ll be “going up to heaven to get our reward.”

The psalmist tells us:
“Unless the Lord builds the house, the labor is in vain.”
It’s not about us,
it’s about God—
God’s work, God’s actions, God’s initiatives.
Yes, God uses us to carry our those purposes,
but it’s never about us.
WE aren’t doing anything more than responding to the master builder,
who designed it all,
guides us in the tasks,
and who appreciates the final building more than we could know.

You take dry bones and clothe them with bodies. Create a church from those who are dead.  

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