A Patchwork of Colors and Shapes
You are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit. Ephesians 2:19-22
As a boy, I loved to play with Legos. I would dump the tub of Legos on the ground and then go to work. Whether I constructed a castle or a spaceship, it was always a patchwork of colors and shapes that went together. Unlike the Lego Star Wars or Lego Batman sets that kids get today and build according to a detailed set of instructions, my creations were hardly award-winning entries on Lego Masters. But I worked with what I had and made something that was mine.
In his letter to the Ephesians, St. Paul describes how God joins together all of those who were once strangers and aliens together. In other words, these were people that came from different backgrounds and experiences. As different as they are, they are being built together as a temple, a dwelling place of God by the Spirit. Congregations are more like the multi-colored, mis-shaped Lego structure than they are the sleek and striking vehicle where all of the colors and all of the shapes are in the perfect places. God takes broken sinners and connects them together to form something that is beautiful and useful in the eyes of the creator.
Each congregation is made up of people who are different from one another. Those differences may be age or ethnicity, but they also may be based upon personalities or talents. Yet the same God who created each person in His own images and bestowed unique abilities also joins them together to be a holy temple, His own dwelling place. My prayer is that our congregations would value the diverse gifts that bestows within each congregation rather than complaining about what gifts, talents and people may be lacking. You are no longer strangers and aliens, but people who have been brought together in Christ Jesus, as His Holy Temple, as He dwells within through faith given by Word and Sacrament. Your congregation is beautiful and useful for God!
Prayer – Almighty God, You have joined Your people together as a dwelling place for the Spirit, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus Himself as the chief cornerstone. By Your Spirit’s work through the Word, make all congregations beautiful in Your eyes and useful for Your purposes; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
Fraternally in Christ,
President Lee Hagan