Yesterday I went out for a lunch meeting. When I returned to the church, I looked up at the new building to check the progress. It was then I saw that the white beam or steel girder that we had asked folks to sign was already in place. From ground level I could still see the outline of the many signatures where church members and preschoolers had taken the time to write their name or some other message. I happened to sign it yesterday at noontime, so I am glad I made it in time.
I have enjoyed the different things we have done to make this construction process more than just putting up brick and steel. Even before we broke ground, a number of folks gathered for our prayer retreat and spent time praying over the ground where the new building would be constructed. They prayed for what would take place in each room of the new building and in the renovated space of the old. They prayed for the children, youth, and adults who would pass through these halls with the hope that God's Spirit would be at work in their lives.
We also collected the prayer cards from our church members and placed them in the foundation of the new building. These not only expressed our prayers to God for the ministry that will take place in the buildings, they also reminded us that our church is built on a foundation of prayer.
And finally we have put up this white steel beam that contains the names of many of our folks. Maybe it reminds us of what the children's hymn says: "I am the church. You are the church. We are the church together. The church is not a building. The church is not a steeple. The church is not a resting place. The church is a people." While the church is not just a building, it is in sacred spaces like these buildings that we can encounter God and connect with one another. Thank you to everyone who helped make these new places for doing God's work possible!
Prayer for Today
Loving God, we stand on the solid rock of Jesus Christ, who is the cornerstone of our faith. May we be the living stones of your building, who show our world what the grace of Jesus looks by how we love one another and the whole world. We pray this in the strong name of Jesus the Christ. Amen.