GOD'S BUILDING PROJECT
Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labour in vain.
This verse is etched upon the cornerstone of our building. It is our testimony to what our church building is all about: this building is here to serve God's Building Project.
When Solomon wrote, "Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labor in vain," was he talking about the Providence United Reformed Church building? Not really.
This psalm tells us about another kind of house the LORD promised to build for Solomon - the LORD's Greater Building Project. Go further into Psalm 127 and you will read also about the city which the LORD watches, and about the sons the LORD gives. The house the LORD builds has to do with the city of Jerusalem, and the sons who sit on the throne of that city.
The house the LORD is building is the kingdom of David and the throne that rules the kingdom. It is really the kingdom of Jesus Christ and His eternal throne. Jesus is the Son of David who one day would come and take the throne forever and set up a kingdom that would never be destroyed.
Solomon confesses here that all his building efforts in this kingdom would be for nothing, if the LORD did not bless them. All the work that was going into Jerusalem, into raising sons for Jerusalem, and into establishing the Kingdom, would be completely without value unless the LORD was pleased to bless that work and use it for the building up of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ.
Here we stand today, thousands of years later, and that House is still being built. The Kingdom of David's Son, Jesus, is still expanding through all the earth. The LORD's Great Building Project includes our congregation! And our little building project here is just one part of the God's Great Building Project. We have built this house of worship because our desire is to see the upbuilding of God's Greater House.
God has promised to use what happens within these brick walls to build His Eternal House!
By writing Psalm 127:1 on our cornerstone, we are confessing that unless the LORD blesses our efforts with this building and what goe son inside this building, all our labour will be worthless. "LORD, bless this house, and especially what we do in this house, so that it might be useful for building up the Kingdom of David's Son, Jesus. Bless the songs, the prayers, the sermons, the administrations of Baptism and the Lord's Supper, the collections, the conversations between brothers and sisters, the Sunday School and Catechism instruction, the discussions and decisions of Council and Consistory. Bless what we do with these pews, and this pulpit, and those rooms, and that fellowship hall so that not one two-by-four, not one sheet of drywall, not one swing of a hammer, not one stroke of a trowel will have been done in vain."
We will be tempted to think that simply having this house of worship will make us a church and guarantee our existence. But the LORD reminds us that our existence year after year, from day to day, even moment by moment depends completely upon His mercy. We cannot by our own efforts make ourselves into anything! God must bless it. He must, in His grace and by His Holy Spirit, blow on us and breathe upon our work and worship in this house.
So we build this building not as a monument to human pride (for there are many beautiful church buildings in this world which have lost all their glory because the LORD is not preached or believed in them), but with humble dependence upon the Lord to use it to build up our faith and His kingdom - not only in our lives, but also in the lives of our children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren, for generations to come.
"LORD, use this small house to build Your Great House."
"LORD, even this small house was built by You to serve Your greater Building Project. We are the labourers, but the Building Project is Yours. No glory goes to one builder over another builder or to one volunteer over another, for all the glory goes to You the Builder. We contributed nothing other than what You first gave us to contribute." We say with Solomon, "0 LORD, our God, all this abundance that we have provided for building You a house for Your Holy Name comes from Your hand and is all Your own" (I Chronicles 29: 16). All our building efforts bring glory to the Divine Builder, not to ourselves.
Now may the LORD be pleased to use this building to conquer sinners, to comfort saints, to strengthen our faith, to increase our holiness, and to build the Eternal House of Jesus Christ.