Thursday, April 20, 2017

A House of Prayer

This is our house of prayer, but we too are a house of God.  If we are a house of God, our construction goes on in time so that it may be dedicated at the end of time. 
               What was done when this church was being built is similar to what is done when believers are built up into Christ.  When they first come to believe they are like timber and stone taken from woods and mountains.  In their instruction, baptism and formation they are, so to speak, shaped, leveled and smoothed by the hands of carpenters and craftsmen.
               But Christians do not make a house of God until they are one in charity.  The timber and stone must fit together in an orderly plan, must be joined in perfect harmony, and must give each other the support of love, or no one would enter the building.  When you see the stones and beams of a building holding together securely, you enter the building with an easy mind; you are not afraid of its falling down in ruins.
               Christ the Lord wants to come in to us and dwell in us.  Like a good builder he says: A new commandment I give you; love one another.  He says: I give you a commandment.  He means: Before, you were not engaged in building a house for me, but you lay in ruins.  Therefore, to be raised up from your former state of ruin you must love on another.
               Dear brethren, remember that this house is still in process of being built in the whole world; this is the promise of prophecy.  When God’s house was being built after the Exile, it was prophesied, in the words of a psalm: Sing a new song to the Lord; sing to the Lord, all the earth.  For a new song our Lord speaks of a new commandment.  A new song implies a new inspiration of love.  To sing is a sign of love.  The singer of this new song is full of the warmth of God’s love.
               The work we see complete in this building is physical; it should find its spiritual counterpart in our hearts.  We see here the finished product of stone and wood; so too our lives should reveal the handiwork of God’s grace.
               Let us then offer our thanksgiving above all to the Lord our God, from whom every best and perfect gift comes.  Let us praise his goodness with our whole hearts.     From a sermon by St. Augustine, bishop.

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