The question of Sunday morning attendance at worship is a regular feature of this blog, and that keeps it in mind. I came across this illustration by Charles Spurgeon (whom some refer to as the prince of preachers), and thought I’d share it:
“There is a brick. What is the brick made for? To help to build a house with. It is of no use for that brick to tell you that it is just as good a brick while it is kicking about on the ground as it would be in the house. It is a good-for-nothing brick; until it is built into the wall, it is not good. So you rolling-stone Christians, I do not believe that you are answering your purpose; you are living contrary to the life which Christ would have you live…”
It is an interesting picture – how would you go about building a wall for a house if a number of your bricks went missing? if a number of the bricks that had already been built into it, and which you should now be laying bricks on top of, had wandered off? Certainly the responsibility for “sticking around” doesn’t just fall to the “brick,” though it does in part; there is a further responsibility that falls to the brick layer, and the mortar used in construction; there is a further responsibility that falls to the other bricks built into the wall and how well they lie with each other.
Michael Evans-Smith built a wall outside of the Swift Current hospital. He probably didn’t lay the bricks himself, but he conceptualized it. The bricks used were taken from the old hospital. They had just been bricks lying on the ground, left-over, at the demolition site. People can buy these bricks in honour of loved ones who have battled cancer. Those bricks could have been scrap materials scattered about, but put into a wall and imbued with purpose they are infinitely more valuable.
This is how it is with the Church. Christ invites us to be built into something of infinitely more value than what each of us, on our own, are or can achieve. At a very real level, a big part of this is gathering to worship with God’s other people on Sunday mornings.