… “You see these great buildings? Not a single stone will be left on another; everything will be pulled down.” Mark 13:2
We are often awestruck by the things we make. The disciples, some poor Galileans perhaps, couldn’t help but to note the enormity of Jerusalem’s skyline. There is no crime in noting good craftsmanship or recognizing feats of labor and skill. Yet, they tried to get someone greater than the city to be as awestruck as they were by it. The “stone the builders refused” proclaimed an end to the ones that had been erected.
We make such fuss and fanfare over the things we build. Skyscrapers to shopping malls are our landmarks. Our homes are our castles. Churches are being constructed as grandiose “worship centers” with every amenity we can think of. Those who shepherd in such places can expect to be well housed themselves even as the one in whose name they preach had no place to lay his head.
We need buildings for everything. Mega-churches are not inherently bad. And pastors should receive compensation according to the church budget. But, let us not be distracted by what we have made because it will all come down. Even, dare I say especially, the things that we make for the sake of holy worship. The disciples were raving about buildings while their master was about to be put in a grave. So if Jesus was to be brought down, what is a temple? The Hagia Sophia and Notre Dame are tourist attractions. Other great churches of the east and west have fallen into rubble. Likewise, our storefronts will be stores again while our “praise tabernacles” will one day meet the wrecking ball.
Only one that had been brought low was resurrected and done so with even more power than before the fall. Only one was the temple that is the temple that makes us temples. Only one can bring us to a city that can never be ruined by the will of man. That city is built on the word of God.
Your Brother In Christ,
Order of Saint-Simon of Cyrene