Being an apologist means never having to say you're sorry.
“And the house, when it was in building, was built of stone made ready before it was brought thither: so that there was neither hammer nor axe nor any tool of iron heard in the house, while it was in building.” (1 Kings 6:7)
Interesting symbolism. The above is referring to Solomon’s construction of the Temple. And when it says how every block of stone was carved from some other place where the cacaphony of chisels and hammers couldn’t be heard from the Temple, I would like to draw a parallel.
“Through wisdom is an house builded; and by understanding it is established: And by knowledge shall the chambers be filled with all precious and pleasant riches.” (Proverbs 24:3-4)
Is it too much a stretch to compare the stones with which God’s house was built to believers? The act of carving and fitting them for integration within to a believer’s vocation (whatever it may be) in the world? I.e. something non-church related? Try it on, see if it fits. Because everyone has gifts. Tools that God wants to make use of wherever we find ourselves. And I’d wager to say that you’re exactly where God wants you right now. If you disagree, I won’t argue with you. The lessons of life can be learned in any building or any field. God is not limited by four walls. We blunt His effectiveness when we think that everything has to be done within a church framework and a denominationally (any denomination) sanctioned program.
The hammer/screwdriver paradox
As an aside, I’m sure there is an actual name for that. The “hammer/screwdriver paradox” might not be it, it’s probably not too far a cry though. We have a tendency to taxonomize and attach labels for everything under the sun.
“Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.” (Matthew 5:9)
Where do you find yourself? Should you desire some greener grass, look around. God wants to make the ground on which you stand a fertile field. He wants to use you where you’re at. When Jesus says that peacemakers shall be called “children of God”, the thing is, you are a child of God. You know this. But others may not. Jesus seems to imply here that, should you let the peace of God flow through you to bless your workplace, your classroom, your study hall or wherever you may be, those who are “pre-Christians” as my Pastor would call them, will know we’re God’s. They’ll know. You’ll stand out. Don’t think that you’re of no use where you are. God has the ability to fit a round peg into a square hole. To use a hammer for a screw. The thing is, it’s not our place to determine how or when or where. The gifts and tools He’s placed in you are exactly the right ones for the problems you’re facing. And as you find yourself away from your church building, being chiseled at here and there, the struggles you’re facing are both sharpening your skills and also being solved by that same skillset. God wastes nothing.
“Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular. And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prohpets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, helps, governments, diversities of tongues. Are all apostles? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles? Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret? But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet show I unto you a more excellent way.” (2 Corinthians 12:27-31)
Love is that more excellent way. And if there’s one thing we possess that the world needs but doesn’t have, it’s God’s love. That is the only tool we really need. Don’t worry about what you might lack or what you want that you think belongs to someone else only. Everything flows from God. And right back to Him. He’ll outfit you for where you’re at and also where you’re supposed to be.
“Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.” (1 Peter 2:5)
Lively stones? Lovely stones.