A windy autumn morning on the top of the hill where three of us are gathered to discuss the possible restoration of a Memorial and into my mind drops the picture of a New Brick, a good strong one being selected from a heap of them.
The memorial has been here almost as long as the present church building which was dedicated on the 29th September 1923 and built from bricks salvaged from the rubble remaining after the destruction of the previous one by fire. Many years ago, I heard the story of how the village children gathered together on Saturday mornings to forage for the bricks so desperately needed to rebuild the church, for those were days of poverty and loss, many of those children had lost fathers, and brothers in the Great War that should have been the war to end all wars, and sadly was not, whose names are recorded on the Roll of Honour … and now perhaps grand children and great grandchildren remember those children themselves.. I puzzle over the the Brick and recall these words from Jeremiah 29. 11-13
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”
I think of our little church now, perhaps not so much of the bricks and mortar but of those who gather every week, mostly aging and I wonder…the brick I have just seen is a new brick, not an old, reclaimed one. “Take it,” the Spirit says and I receive it into my own hands and wonder, and wait…to see what will become of it.
A Christian can lay build on no other foundation than the Lord Jesus and Paul reminds me, in 1Cor. 3.10 “Each one should build with care.”
So I wonder, what kind of brick do I hold in my hands, are my hands safe. careful ones? I pray,
“Loving God, help me to make your love the foundation of my life, give me grace to build up and not to tear down; to encourange and not criticise;to forgive, and not to harbour hurts or disappointments, knowing that you are faithful and ever ready to forgive when I fail or fall.