Monday, June 05, 2006
Each Stone has its Place
This is a gate from the walls of the ancient city of Toledo, Spain, where we help out Spanish church planters José and Jenny some in the small Baptist church they are planting there.
I think this picture illustrates very well some points I have been trying to communicate on this blog. You will notice, for instance, that this gate is made up of stones of different sizes and shapes. The fact that each stone is unique helps to make the gate more beautiful. You will also notice that the stones at the bottom, or the foundation, are different than those at the top.
So it is as well in the spiritual wall in the spiritual city of Zion that God is building down through history. The spiritual stones who are us, as individual believers, are being built up and placed each one precisely in the place He has prepared for us. I believe this wall is made up of believers from different cultures, different denominations, different worship styles, etc. It is made up of individuals with different spiritual gifts and personalities. I also believe that as history progresses there are times when God uses new types of stone in his "building project". I think that what many are saying today about the "emerging church" or the "missional church" fits in well with this metaphor. At the same time, I think it is significant that the "new stones" are not all off by themselves in an effort to be built up in a completely different wall. They form part of the same wall as the old stones. I see a huge spiritual lesson here. We need to all learn to recognize and validate the worth of each other. The "old stones" need the "new stones" in order for the project to be brought to completion. And the "new stones" if they are not built on the foundation of the "old stones" (inasmuch as that foundation is not faulty), will suffer as a result, in their efforts to be built up as well.