Sometimes people dream of walking on streets of gold, but we walk among the Lord’s jewels every week. Yet when we talk about our church to others we almost never even think of these things. Perhaps it is because they are so small. They seem unremarkable. But these are the treasures of ministry.
There is work for us to do. Let’s call it tuckpointing. That’s when the crumbling mortar between bricks or stones is replaced with fresh mortar so that the wall remains strong. Over these past months “the tie that binds our hearts in Christian love” has loosened and cracked.
Over the years, we’ve all known some difficult and even dangerous troublemakers in our congregations but wolves are rare, at least in my experience. As Paul intimates, they tend to emerge from church leadership—pastors, elders, or teachers—people positioned to lead others astray. We ourselves are not immune. You or I could become our own worst enemy.
This incredibly wealthy man, who clearly wanted the best of everything, required that his house be built from bricks of mud and straw, that the woodwork be of driftwood and salvaged lumber, that the carpets be of woven rags, and the windows crafted from broken glass.
Now this season of the Great Interruption is a good time to step outside to stand by your church’s lampstand and listen. Be quiet. Be humble.
You may feel like you’re trying to pastor with your staff tied behind your back but our Good Shepherd leads with sure and certain steps.