As I walked the beach I was attracted to the small stones with various holes in them. I wondered about the holes, how were they made, what was their purpose, and what images in my own life could I use this as a metaphor about. The reason for them became quickly apparent as I picked up one stone which had small mollusks in it. They were using it not only as a home protect themselves, but also as a way to hold themselves in one place without being washed about so easily.
I began to wonder about my own life, what rock was I using as my stronghold? As a pastor I know God is my rock and my salvation. But as I pondered the question I realized yes, God is my rock, but we look to our churches, our congregations to be the stabilizing force. And sometimes that place looks like the stones I found on the beach. They are holey. Some holes are filled with people, burrowing in for protection, some holes are empty waiting for a new occupant because a beloved member died or moved. And some holes re in the making as people come and go. Yet, what is consistent is God's love and mercy. The Word of God is proclaimed and practiced. It sends us out of our protective space and allows us to live in the world, but we know we have a place to come back to.
As we build our new building, remember the building it is not God, nor is it the body of Christ. Instead it is a place of sanctuary from the stories, a place to hear God's word, a place of mission, and a place to be sent back out into the world. As important as the building is, it is nothing without the body of Christ doing the work of God. You are an important and beloved member of the body of Christ. Never forget this and remember there is always room in our rock for one more hole where you and a friend may find sanctuary.