What sort of house are you going to build me?
Updated: Oct 19, 2022
Scripture often speaks to us when we least expect it. At Morning Prayer for the past week or so we’ve been reading the account of the development of the early church contained in the Acts of the Apostles. For some reason Acts has ended up being divided from the Gospel of Luke, even though their authors were the same person. It is, however, a logical division; the Gospel deals with the chronological life of Jesus whereas Acts goes on to record the fall-out from this world-changing revelation of the one who was crucified, dead and buried, but who on the third say rose again.
On the 1st of September (St. Giles’ Day) we read Stephen’s words from Acts, where he quotes the Old Testament discussion of the building of the Temple by King Solomon: “What kind of a house will ye build me? saith the Lord.”
Sitting there on St. Giles’ Day, I must admit that these words resonated for me. The church is, of course, God’s house: it is the location of his saving work as the the faithful gather, the word is preached and the sacraments are administered. Just as in the early church, we are the disciples of our age, we are the messengers who share the word. Only we can build the church of today, only we can share the good news. So the question I am asking myself – and perhaps the question we should all be asking ourselves in the light of Christ’s redeeming work and in this season of our patronal festival – is that same: What kind of a house will you build for the Lord? Because build, we must.
Tom Sander, Rector