Tag Archives: materials

Relationships: the Building Blocks of God’s Work

Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw—each one’s work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. 1 Corinthians 3:12-13

Then she fell on her face, bowing to the ground, and said to him, “Why have I found favor in your eyes, that you should take notice of me, since I am a foreigner?” But Boaz answered her, “All that you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband has been fully told to me, and how you left your father and mother and your native land and came to a people that you did not know before. Ruth 2:10-11

friendship coffee relationship

My pastor loves to say, “let’s build a church”. I love it too. It clarifies, for all of us, that “church” is not something we merely attend; rather, it is something we build together. It reiterates that we all have a part to play in that building process.

Paul used the same metaphor in 1 Corinthians 3 to describe the work of the church. Indeed, Paul cautions us to be careful about the materials we use when building the church. He warns us that, in doing kingdom work, we should be using extraordinary materials, rather than common, everyday materials. He also warns us that our work will be tested. By fire. *gulp!*

So, what are these “building materials” in Paul’s metaphor? What, exactly, are the building blocks of the work of God in this world? I believe the answer is simple: relationships. They are central to every meaningful endeavor (i.e., work which has any eternal significance at all) by God’s people. And, in scripture, relationships are …

The Church Jesus Expects to Find

Tuesday Re-mix –

“The unity of Christendom is not a luxury, but a necessity. The world will go limping until Christ’s prayer that all may be one is answered. We must have unity, not at all costs, but at all risks. A unified Church is the only offering we dare present to the coming Christ, for in it alone will He find room to dwell.”
Bishop Charles Henry Brent

I had a walkway installed on the side of my house.  It had been a bunch of mud and dirt and was never going to grow grass, so we spent one Spring dressing it up.  The first major piece was a lined walkway.  I explained to the contractor what I had in mind and he seemed to understand pretty well.  “Crushed granite”, he said…”That’s what you’re looking for, right?”  Well, I had no idea.  I knew the look I wanted, but I didn’t know the name of the material.  “Yes,” I answered in complete ignorance.  I should have pressed for more clarity.

It was all installed in a day…while I was gone.  As it turns out, it was not what I had in mind at all.  It was a different color, a different consistency and pretty much completely different than what I envisioned.  But I have learned to like it.  I also learned how important it is to see the materials before you start building with them, because the materials matter.  In fact, in this case I strongly suspect that the materials I had in mind were not nearly as practical nor as useful as what I got.  So I decided to like it.

When Paul talked about the “materials” for building the church in I Corinthians 3, he also concluded that the materials matter.  He said some of us would …