I love this time of year with the beginning of school. The students are back at school and are ready to learn new and exciting ideas. The teachers are excited to pour their knowledge into the students. And the parents are excited to have some time themselves.
As we transition back to the learning environment we are once again reminded of intentional reading. During intentional reading, we can gravitate to pieces of literature that we love: fiction, fantasy and nonfiction, etc. In these stories, parables, fables, fairy tales, and nursery rhymes the main theme is to communicate the joys, lessons, and the precautions from one generation to the next. In the letter to the Corinthians, I see a hidden story that most are familiar with: The story of “ The Three Little Pigs”.
I Corinthians 3 : 1- 3
Brothers and sisters, I could not address you as people who live by the Spirit but as people who are still worldly—mere infants in Christ. 2 I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready.
As you can recall in the story of the three little pigs, there are three young adults who are off to find their own niche and their own lifestyle. Each of the individual pigs decide to make a house with various materials: straw, wood, and bricks. Over the course of time the big bad wolf blows down the straw house and the wood house. But he is unable to blow down the house made of brick. The main focus on these individuals is their choice of the building materials. Sometimes we need easy stories to help us understand complex notions and ideas. The “ Three Little Pigs’ illustrated the need to have a sound foundation and insight into the builder of our faith structure.
I Corinthians 3: 10 – 17
By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as a wise builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should build with care. 11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, 13 their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work. 14 If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. 15 If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved—even though only as one escaping through the flames.
16 Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst? 17 If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person; for God’s temple is sacred, and you together are that temple.
In the letter Paul is not only telling us to look at the materials, but we have to focus on our architect, builder, and the foundation in which we have our faith. When we have a great foundation in Christ, nothing can shake us during the most trying and difficult times. During these unfathomable times, we can depend on Christ to be a foundation to sustain us in everything. But we also have to remember that God is the builder of his temple and dwelling places (our bodies). Sometimes we forget that God is building us daily. He is creating in us a structure that is going to be the best reflection of him so others can see his marvelous works.
We have to remember that the work that God is doing in us may not be seen in our lifetime. We may be setting up others to continue to show God’s grace and God’s glory.
My family lives in a house that was built in 1927. Sometimes I wonder about the builders of my home. How much thought did they give into the building that they were building ? Did they know that the structure that they built would last for almost 100 years? Did they have the foresight to give their heart and their best effort in creating this structure? Can we allow God to use us in a way that future generations would be able to see God’s grace in their lives? How can we allow God to be the foundation and the builder of our faith that it will stand time?