Work in Progress: Building the Kingdom
I’ve lived in only four houses during my married life, but I’ve had extensive building works carried out on three out of the four of them. And it was a nightmare!
I think it would be fair to say that building work and I are not a match made in heaven. I loathe the disruption, the mess, the eternal dust and the way that you can never find anything, despite your best efforts.
Our parish church is currently being re-ordered with — yes; you’ve guessed — massive renovations and structural work and all its accompanying chaos. I must admit that it’s less stressful than living with it in a home situation, but it is still fairly horrendous and difficult to work around.
However, we do the best that we can and are lucky to have both the use of a church hall to celebrate Mass in and a parish priest to do so.
Most of us experience building work at some time or the other in our lives, whether it’s in our own homes or in a neighbour’s, at a place of work or when we are waiting for a home to be built.
In fact “building” in its many forms is prevalent during our life journey. We build friendships and relationships, we build up our knowledge, we build upon our careers and we build up followers on social media. In fact, building of some sort or another is all around us.
Yet by far the most important type of building is that of the gradual strengthening of our relationship with the Lord. We are all the chosen children of God who longs for us, but it is up to us to create the space and time to share our lives with the Lord.
As St Paul says in his letter to the Ephesians: “You too, in him, are being built into a house where God lives in the Spirit” (2:22).
As we build our lives with our relationships, careers and homes, our spirit is being built up by the Lord. Our faith is probably the most essential building block that we have in our possession—and this one comes without mess and dust!
However, Jesus does stir us up when we choose to follow him — we may find that some of our paths are unexpected and we may be challenged in ways that we had not anticipated.
Yet we can be reassured. If our lives are built upon a strong foundation of faith, we too shall be like the man who built his house on rock:
“Rain came down, floods rose, gales blew and hurled themselves against that house, and it did not fall: it was founded on rock” (Mt 7:25-26).
Julia Beacroft is an author, editor, workshop leader and presenter in Catholic faith formation. Her book Sanctifying the Spirit is available on Amazon and other online stores. See www.sanciobooks.com for more information.