Build the Holy Temple
“Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his spirit.” Ephesians 2:13
My plans were firm. I left in plenty of time to meet a good friend for breakfast. Yet not a mile from my home I ran into a road construction crew with no warning signs. There was hardly room to turn my car around and backtrack the other direction. An upset construction worker motioned frantically. I put my car window down and meekly explained there was no sign warning of any road construction. Nevertheless, I was now redirected on a different route to reach my destination.
This reminded me of how many times in my life my plans were firmly set in my mind only to have them upended. When it happens, there must be a detour or complete change of plans. Other times, just as in the closing of a road during construction, I have found myself “temporarily closed.” Being temporarily closed means one is not functioning as expected. Such was my reaction when I recently lost both parents within a twenty-four-hour period. I was closed for construction for quite some time.
It is during these closed periods of time, when everything comes to a halt, God has our complete, undivided attention. It is a time to go back to our source of strength: Scripture. And each time I have gone back to Scripture while closed for construction, the Word can reach me in a way I cannot be reached during the busyness of life. The Scripture is able to get right inside my heart where nothing else can.
Closed for construction is a signal to us that should we continue ahead, without a break, things will not be pretty. When working without God’s help, plodding forward with no break, our minds and bodies suffer. We might end up with depression, anxiety, or illness brought on by stress. Shutting down while “under construction” is necessary. When we are under construction, God can reach us.
Once we are collected and our feelings have been gathered back together with the stitching of God’s mighty hands, our lives makes more sense. We see the world more clearly, more intensely, and more in tune with God’s Word. And God’s Word is always the same. His plan for us remains the same. He uses this “closed for construction” time to assist us, comfort us, and strengthen us, so we are ready to help in His work, His plan. We are ready once more to get back to our calling: to build His temple.
Using Christ Jesus as our cornerstone, we diligently work to build His church. We are all citizens of His community. The Holy Temple is us, the members of His community. To complete the temple, He asks us to invite others to our community; to invite others to help build His church. The next time you find yourself closed for construction, return to the Scripture, reach out to God’s community, and rely on the strength of His arms to prop you back up. Then you can return to working for Him.
“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” Matthew 28: 19.
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