“Unless the LORD build the house, they labor in vain that build it.”
My grandfather on my mother’s side was a building contractor in Minneapolis for many years. After coming here from Norway early in the 20th century he worked building barns in North Dakota. Eventually he moved to the Twin Cities and started his own construction business.
All my grandfather’s carpenters were Norwegians and for many years every house was built by hand – no power tools were allowed.
My mother’s cousin was one of those carpenters and he told her once why he liked working for my grandfather; “Where other builders use three nails”, he said, “your father uses five.” All the homes they built are still standing, sturdy as ever.
In a temporal, transitory life even our finest efforts cannot stand against the ravages of time. After all, my grandfather’s houses, as well-built as they are, will one day have to be torn down.
The Psalmist, reflecting on the work of the Lord, recognized that only those plans laid down by the Living God will endure. And God has made this plan known: through the power of the Gospel the framework of faith, hope and love are built upon Christ, the sure foundation. In baptism God has established us upon this foundation, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it.
“May the peace of God that passes all understanding keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus our Lord.”