Lawson Road Church of Christ has traditionally begun the year with a prayer service on the first Sunday; We did this again in 2009. Our theme for the day was our theme for the year, “You Are God’s Building.”
Because we had quite a few different readings and prayers I thought I would list them here so people can review them and consider how the various passages link the theme with our lives.
1. Christ is our Foundation (1 Cor. 3:11)
- The name “Church of Christ” means, “the church that belongs to Christ”. In 1 Cor 6:20 & 7:23 Paul writes “You have been bought with a price.” In each passage the application is different but the underlying message is consistent. Galatians 2:20 puts it this way, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.“
2. Unity within Diversity (1 Cor. 3:17 “You together are [God’s] temple.”)
- To better illustrate this idea we read 1 Cor. 12:12-20 which uses the image of the body to demonstrate that “there are many parts, but one body.” (v20). Earlier 12:4-6 contains a trinitarian statement: many gifts – but one Spirit; many ways to serve – but one Lord; many ways God works in us – but one God. [my paraphrase] It’s not much of a leap to think of the church as one building with many different components. Let’s never confuse unity with uniformity.
3. Hope and Confidence (Heb. 3:1-6)
- Verse 6 particularly makes this point. As long as we are God’s house, we have confidence and hope. Let’s make this a goal.
4. Encourage One Another (Heb. 3:13)
- There’s no direct “building” motif here, but given it’s proximity to 3:1-6 I believe there’s a connection. Verse 6 begins with “We are his house, if indeed we hold firmly…” While v13 concludes with “…so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.” What’s the connection? How can we hold firmly and not be hardened by sin? In part, the answer is to “…encourage one another daily…”.
5. Endure (Ephesians 2:19-22)
- I could also have used Heb. 3:14 to emphasise the need for God’s building (people) to hae endurance, “For if we are faithful to the end, … we will share in all that belongs to Christ.” But we couldn’t really read Heb. 3 that many times in one service. So in Ephesians we see this idea in v20 “Together, we are his house, built on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets. And the cornerstone is Christ Jesus himself.” God’s building has longevity and endurance throughout generations, but there’s also a need for endurance on our part to continue this legacy. How committed are we to God’s building, His church?
I’m also still looking for others to share how this theme connects with you. Or let me know if you’re having a hard time relating it to your life.