The Notre Dame cathedral in France has been on everyone’s mind this week. It took lots of money and loads of work hours for almost 200 years to erect a building to point people to God and commemorate the mother of Jesus. Though it was sad to see fire consume and undo a lot of hard work, I have been thinking about the 200-year-long project.
The people who first started building the cathedral were not there when it was finished. The children of the people who first started building the cathedral were not there when it was finished. And it seems safe to say that the grandchildren of most of the people who first started building the cathedral were not there when it was finished.
In our culture—dominated by what is expedient and what gets us the most pleasure with the least amount of effort—my mind skips a beat in the face of a project like this.
My mind wonders at how the original architects' plans must have been extremely inspirational, in order for those who never knew them and lived more than 100 years after them to continue working on their project.
My mind tries to grasp the beauty and power of long-term planning, and working on things that are much bigger than any one of us has the capacity to accomplish within our allotted time on earth.
And my "pastor mind" contemplates the beauty of playing our part in the building of God’s kingdom.
In the face of our own frailty, and our culture's fog, it is easy to faint and lose heart. It is easy to forget that Jesus’ vision for our lives, and the Church as a whole, is a most spectacular, beautiful vision. He has been working on it, and continues working on it, and He will not stop working on it until the day of completion.
So, as you do your work this week, whether it is for pay or for free, for family or for company, remember these words: “Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”
Soon and very soon we will see that all the little work that our little lives have accomplished in Jesus' name is building a most magnificent kingdom-city-garden-building-family just like Revelation 21:10-22describes.
I pray the intimate passion of Maundy Thursday, the sacrificial love of Good Friday, and joy and surprising triumph of Easter, all settle into your souls and into your homes this weekend.