Dream word – EFFORT
1 Peter 2:6,7
“For in Scripture it says: ‘See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame.’ Now to you who believe, this stone is precious. But to those who do not believe, ‘the stone the builders rejected has become the capstone’.” NIV
Of good starts and better endings
I must say that I do often enjoy some of the unpolished pageantry of postmodern, protestant Christianity. I love the unpractised symbolism we sometimes employ to mark the end of significant and sometimes damaging events? For example, I recently heard of a small church going through a service of “letting go” of old hurts and wounds, which was symbolised by each member handing a personal and symbolic object to the elders, who in turn took the objects and placed them, symbolically speaking, at the feet of Jesus, at the foot of the cross. On another occasion I was involved with a men’s retreat, when, at the end, the men wrote down their sins and bad practices and then together buried them in the red dirt of a Georgia hillside, never to be retrieved again, never, ever to be picked up and practiced again. It was most excellent and like I say, I do often enjoy some of the unpolished pageantry of post modern, protestant Christianity. It’s very moving, very helpful. For about a week that is! Or maybe less.
Some of the guys who met in Georgia, did go back for their old buried stuff. The small church I mentioned was still exhibiting open wounds, was still falling over one another’s baggage. I could recount to you countless stories as well, of ineffectual protestant pageantry, whose significant satisfaction, is measured by about the time it takes to get hungry after a Chinese meal and whose power to resist the continuing pressure of sinful habits laid to rest by protestant post modern pageantry, is a strong as an empty coke tin in a large man's hand.
Having examined the very poor results of such postmodern protestant pageantry, I believe the issue of ineffectiveness lies in a false assumption and a misunderstanding. Let me explain.
The false assumption of such healing, letting go, stake in the ground, kind of imagery and symbolism, is that we assume that “that’s that!” When in fact, that’s not that at all! The decision to acknowledge, to let go, to choose life, to be better, to be done with it, are all good and powerful decisions and are worthy to be marked in our memory by powerful imagery. However, the great misunderstanding is that we regard these decisions and images as capstones, rather than cornerstones. In other words, we regard them as completion images rather than starting images, we look at them as endings rather than new beginnings.
When a builder lays the foundation of a new and magnificent edifice, there is often pageantry and celebration, there is imagery and dignitary, there is clapping and signing, there is applauding and singing. However, there is much work ahead. A cornerstone has been laid, an indispensable and fundamental marking stone of measurement, strength and solid direction has been set down as a strong beginning to a certain ending! Now, until the building is complete there is a vast amount of building to be done, an expensive and vast amount mind you! In the end, and usually privately and more often than not, in an unseen fashion, the capstone is laid as a protective and often decorative covering stone, to mark the completion of the building. It’s time now to cut the ribbon, open the doors, move in, rejoice and live out its functionality to the full.
My dear friend, please remember tonight, that there is a lot of work and personal expense in between the cornerstone and the capstone, especially in the personal and unpolished pageantry of post modern Christianity. Now go on, get to it! Get to work and complete that sanctified structure which you have started together with God. Do you remember the cornerstone which you laid? It’s not too late.
Listen: “Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.” - Philippians 2:12-13 NKJV
Pray: Lord! I got it wrong! I thought I was done with that when in fact I was only beginning to be done with that. Show me please the architect plans for this new building we have begun, help me clear away the debris, find that cornerstone and joyfully build something magnificent, until we together, can place the capstone on the top and move in and start living productively and powerfully. In Jesus name I ask it, amen!
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