Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.
(1 Corinthians 12:27, ESV)
Legos have been around my house for a decade now. My son turned 10 recently, and since his earliest days of playing with the big Duplo kind until the sophisticated sets he puts together now, he’s built some pretty amazing things out of Legos.
I remember, though, the earlier days when it was more fun (at least for the kids) to knock the Lego creations down than build them. For a dad, getting Lego bricks again is a chance to play, to build and impress the kids! But no sooner is that tower or small apartment building made than little wrecking balls come to destroy it brick by brick.
I’ve got to say, that’s what things feel like when I think deeply about our culture and time. We’ve seen values forged by God’s Word get knocked down and destroyed one principle at a time. Marriage, family, gender, those with disabilities, minority groups, police officers – these areas in particular, valued as each area or person is to God, has been and continues to be attacked. Our enemy Satan employs the same tactics that he always has with the same aim that he’s always shot for: the defilement of the image of God and the destruction of all God has said is right and good and beautiful. Satan is doing his work of destroying the foundations of God’s work brick by brick. We see his sinister work on the news every day.
Oh how terrifying it would be… if that was all that was going on.
But, God! God has dealt with the attacks of the enemy for millennia. He has seen brick by brick of His work pulled down through the earliest chapters of Genesis through Israel’s history, through the time of Jesus the Messiah on earth, to the current scene of the church. Yet God cannot be undone by the attacks of the enemy. The Apostle Paul was overwhelmed as he described the work of God to rebuild all things through Christ in the church.
Ephesians 2:13–14 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.  For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility (ESV)
You see, the enemy is doing everything he can (and he’s got a full arsenal – Eph. 6:11) to destroy what God has said is good and right and holy. And just when it seemed like no one could put the pieces back together, that we’d been forced to continue fighting and hating one another, Jesus came! His work, among the many other things He accomplished, was to bring lost sinners near to God once again and to bring us sinners close together into one new body – the church.
Ephesians 2:19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, (ESV)
Out of the chaos of brokenness that is our country and the world we live in, Jesus continues to rescue people out and build them into something beautiful, good and holy. We are now fellow citizens and members of God’s own house. Brick by brick Jesus is building us into the display of what the whole world will look like one day when He’s done – beautiful, good and holy.
Some are asking right now, and understandably, what is our plan? We agree in the present that racism is evil and must be confronted, but what is the end game? While we do what we can on the social levels, the real work must begin in the household of God. What are we aiming for?
- God’s work of reconciliation. If Jesus can reconcile Jews and Gentiles to God and each other who for thousands of years hated each other on every level, how can Jesus not do the lesser work of reconciling God’s people who separate for reasons of skin color?
- Inclusion of all repentant sinners, regardless of their ethnicity or background. Key there is repentant sinners – repentance is the act of saying to God, “You’re right in your view of my life/my sin. I’m not able to control my life. I’ve made a wreck of it, and I’ve hurt others.” Repentance is beautiful, for it clears the life of sin’s power and acknowledges and hopes in the power of God.
- Joyful worship and life together. Tough times won’t last forever. Someday God will make all things right and whole again. In the meantime we will laugh, sing, talk, listen, learn, hurt, weep and grieve together.
When the world sees love like that, they’ll marvel. And perhaps the Master Builder will get for Himself another brick to add to the building He’s making.