On the 7th day of Christmas….
‘If the Lord does not build the house, the work of the builders is useless’.
Back in the day, in the first flush of Christian commitment, I used to underline verses in my Bible and date them. I think that was because they spoke to me about a particular situation. I have the above verse underlines in an old Good News version with the date ‘1/1/87’: 30 years ago today.
I can remember why I did it: I knew that that was the beginning of my last year in full time education. By the middle of that year, I would have a 2:1 in politics, by September, my first full time job and my first flat. In the early part of the next year, I would meet the person who is now my wife and in the year after (1989) I would be married and we would own the only home we ever had.
All of that was unknown 30 years ago today- I honestly did not know what the future held or where I would be or what I would be doing. I remember being excited, anticipative and not a little scared. Even now, 30 years later, I still do not know what I will be doing when I grow up.
But- even taken out of context (which proof texters tend to do), it is a pretty good guiding light for the year to come. I think my 2017 will be a good deal more stable than 1987, but I do not know. It is a warning not to be so complacent and to make Faith something more than an add on extra, which I am wont to do.
Now I am older, wiser and more theologically literate, I no longer underline verses. Perhaps I have lost something.