Building stuff takes time. A lot of time. A lot of other stuff, too, like money and sweat.
And hope and anticipation.
I know some of this because I took 2 years renovating this space. And I vividly remember, while sweeping debris, and sweeping more debris, and taking another load to the dumpster, and sweeping more debris, thinking, “This will never be finished.”
I live in a city with roads that are constantly under construction. It has a way of forming the way you think about the city, and certainly shaping the way you get around the city.
And suddenly, one day the roadblocks are gone. And something brand new is there that wasn’t there before. The waiting is over.
In today’s passage, we read the nitty-gritty details of Solomon’s building projects, most notably the temple and the royal palace. A home for the earthly king, and one for the supreme king of the universe. We begin with the statement: So Solomon built the house and finished it. For you builders and creators, you know that finishing is the hardest part. The Sagrada Familia in Barcelona was started in 1882. It’s still not finished.
Makes me think about all the people that wielded hammers and tools to make it happen. How many people gave up their livelihoods, and even lives, to see these projects completed? How many people later say to their children, “I helped make that. Your grandpa helped make that.”
The sanctuary of First United Methodist Church in Tulsa has an incredible story. In was constructed during the Great Depression, and individuals sacrificed family heirlooms, wedding bands, even mortgages to see it finished. It’s not the only church building in America with such a story. But it’s these stories that give identity to congregations long after they happen.
And so it is with Solomon’s temple, too. In all these building projects, Solomon gives an identity to the people as he advances the culture of Jerusalem and Israel.
And so it is with Jesus as he builds the Church.
Question: Have you ever been part of a project that made you feel like you were part of a larger community?