10”According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building on it. Each builder must choose with care how to build on it. 11For no one can lay any foundation other than the one that has been laid; that foundation is Jesus Christ. 12Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw— 13the work of each builder will become visible, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each has done. 14If what has been built on the foundation survives the builder will receive a reward. 15If the work is burned up, the builder will suffer loss; the builder will be saved, but only as through fire” (1 Cor. 3:10-15 NRSV).
Last week I preached on the importance of personal reconciliation, both to each other and ourselves. I spoke of individual responsibility and our commitment to place our personal care into the hands of God. It is with the assurance of our personal salvation that God equips our hearts to faithfully serve our world. By having a renewal of spirit, a change from the inside out, we set our course toward our long walk towards perfection.
This week, the focus shifts towards the communal aspect of grace, and how we live out our faith within the context of a body of believers. The idea of being the architect of our church while never forgetting who laid the foundation can become overwhelming. Think about it for a moment. When we look at the beautiful basilicas and other churches, they we were created for us to look up and be amazed. We are instructed in some sense to take our eyes off of the foundation and look at the beauty of human creation. We tend to worship the building and not the one who laid the foundation.
Anyone who knows me appreciates the fact that I am not a gifted master builder. Matter of fact, I was grateful that I actually built bookshelves for my family. That project was huge for me. What about the one who is building a great work that is in me? My challenge is to follow the blue print that is given to me from the master builder of all master builders. That one is Jesus Christ. I am constantly challenged to surrender my desires to create and make bigger and simply give way to worship. Let the one who truly is a craftsman sculpt me into the man of God who I am called to be.
May we all remember that our works together call for a church which can be restored and made whole. Remembering the chief architect as we build our places of worship creates places in which our world can truly experience the radical love of God. Let us contribute to the building continuously giving credit to the one who gives us our foundation. That foundation that stores within us springs of living waters.