David says that he “took great pains” in his preparations for the building of the house of the Lord. He gathered together all the wood, stone, gold, silver, workmen, and had even identified the site of the temple according to God’s direction. Everyone in Israel participated in the contributions.  David was not able to provide for the house of the Lord by himself.  And the task of actually erecting the house was left to his son Solomon. Solomon also was not able to discharge the entire task by himself either. It was a joint venture between father & son along with all citizens of Israel.  All had a roll to play in the building of God’s house.

Paul affirms to us in the New Testament that building an “assembly” of God’s people, ie, God’s house, is always a cooperative effort. Each person brings a complementary gift to the project and each of us needs the others. In his first letter to the Corinthians he says, “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase.” Then he goes on and says, “…and each one will receive his own reward according to his own labor.” (1Cor 3:6f) There is a reward for being part of the effort of building God’s house.

My dad built the house at 4314 Lake Street from scratch. On weekends he’d make us help.  Our contributions were rather minor, but from the digging of the foundation in the summer of 1960, until our move in August of 1961, we would spend time sweeping up, picking up left over wood, gathering loose nails, helping to hold up drywall in our own bedrooms, choosing where the electrical outlets would be, etc. Even today my name, my brother’s name, and my sister’s name are cut into the concrete stoop on the front porch of that house.

Our names are being cut into the lives of the living stones who make up God’s house today.  Or not!

“Don’t speak evil against each other, dear brothers and sisters. If you criticize and judge each other, then you are criticizing and judging God’s law. But your job is to obey the law, not to judge whether it applies to you.” James 4:11