The ground is broken. The building process has officially begun its slow journey to completion. Abiding Grace is building a church just as soon as all the ground gets moved and the signatures are all in place, and all that other stuff. But, remember, this physical building we’re constructing is nothing compared with the building God is doing in us.
Last week we looked at how God is doing some building, building our relationship with him and building us into his church. Now God’s word points us to what we are built on, the foundation of the apostles and prophets. We are built on his word, with, as our text says, "Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone."
That’s what brings all of scripture together. That is our foundation. That’s why every time you come to church here — you’ll hear about Jesus. Sure help with your financial priorities or guidance on your relationships or peace for your troubled hearts are all great things that come from your time in church — but none of them are possible without the foundation of God’s love for us in the life and death and life again of Jesus Christ. So when God does building, when it is building on his word, it will be building solidly on Jesus.
Now, as this building, as this church, as we set out on this journey to build a physical structure, we will be solid too. Sure, there may be delays for the right permits and setbacks with construction cost increases. We may find out that the theme for today: "Built on the rock" will increase the site prep costs. There could even be a natural disaster that sets it all back. I pray those things don’t happen, but God doesn’t promise they won’t.
And that’s OK, because of what he does promise. In our church’s theme passage, Jesus says, "I am the vine. You are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit. Apart from me you can do nothing." When we remain in him, when we build on the foundation of God’s word, when we take advantage of worship time and Bible study time to keep growing in God’s word and Jesus’ love, God does the building. God produces fruit. Look at the last verses of our text: In him (Jesus) the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.
This building, this gathering of us believers, is a place where God dwells. And as we gather together each week — for now at a rented daycare, but soon at our sanctuary built on our property — God is present, and he is doing some building. He’s building us up in our love for him and each other as he teaches us more and more of his love through his word. He’s building us up to be that Church that everyone in our lives can’t help but see. He’s building us up to be the place where people can go to find out more about our God. He’s making us a church. Amen.