Rome Was Not Built In A Day
"Rome was not built in a day" rang in my ears time and again during my youthful years as wise people spoke into my life. The City of Seven Hills took centuries to become the capitol of the Roman Empire. The intent of these wise voices was to remind youthful ambition that it takes time to build a life or dream. It is not a one-day project. But day after day must be put together with character and integrity to bring to fruition God's plan in our life.
Two thousand years ago a baby was born to a peasant teenage girl who was engaged to be married to a carpenter. Not the beginning one would expect of a king. Hardly to be compared to Buckingham Palace and a prince being born.
There are only glimpses of his childhood. Luke gives us the best narrative of his birth and very early years. Then a long pause until about age 12 when the young boy is found talking with scholars. Slipping into silent years we hear the echo of: "....he was subject to his parents" (Luke 2:51), and "..and he increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men" (Luke 2:52). These profound words frame the house of integrity that positioned Jesus for public ministry about age 28.
For about five or six years Jesus did public ministry while privately making disciples. He left a small group of devoted, but frightened followers when he went to the cross. After his resurrection and meeting with believers a powerful flame was lit on the Day of Pentecost. From history we think that ten disciples gave their lives in testimony of Jesus being the Messiah. John was the only one who died a natural death, apparently living into the early 90's.
Two thousand years later Jesus' legacy is the most powerful force for good on earth. Take all the gods of this world and put them together and the totality of idol gods impact for good is no equal to the power of the cross. Prison reform, women's rights, protection of children, hospitals, schools, literacy, charity, ad infinitum are testimony to the power of agape love lived by Jesus.
We too, including you, dear friend, are in his heritage. We are day by day building lives and works that testify of Jesus.
I stand and watch blocks being laid on the new building at Covenant Church. Some days temperatures are nice and pleasant as blocks one-by-one raise the wall. Other days the wall is wrapped like an igloo with torpedo heaters inside to warm the block, keep the mortar from freezing and protect the men from frostbite. I cannot even see the block being laid, but eventually the igloo rises higher and I know more blocks are in place.
There are good days in our lives when all seems well. We feel good. We enjoy good things. Solomon, the wise man, said all of this is a blessing of the Lord.
There are other days we wade through the swamp, struggle to keep afloat, pray, feel the pain, wonder what is going on. We carry burdens for other people who do not even carry their own spiritual burden. We are praying and asking God to have mercy upon people we love who are foolishly trying to make it on their own. We ask God to be merciful to precious souls who are spending all their time and money on their own pleasure. Such days our heart is heavy, our feet feel like lead, and we sing songs of faith without feeling joy in the moment.
But we see the morning. Just like our building program will come to a conclusion, and we will celebrate. Machines and debris gone. Grass growing. Ribbon-cutting. We also see the morning coming that will be a day of rejoicing. After a day of struggle will be a day of delightful joy and singing joyful songs. And one day will dawn the eternal morning when we will rejoice to be in the presence of the Lord forever.
It is true that Rome was not built in a day. Our life is the sum total of our days. Each day is a block laid for the house in which we live. Let us be careful that we choose well the block we lay each day and make sure it is a testimony of Jesus. The house we build will be what we will present to Jesus on Judgment Day.
Much love Pastor Bare Scripture reading: Nehemiah (incredible story of doing in 52 days what had not been done in a 100 years).
Construction Update: https://www.facebook.com/covenantchurchcville/videos/1696382803716231/