God Is The Builder Of Everything
This week we'll continue exploring the daily lectionary readings for the season of Lent, and highlighting a verse or two from one of the passages of the day.
Today, I was struck by this verse from Hebrews chapter 3:
For every house is built by someone, but God is the builder of everything. - Hebrews 3:4I wasn't sure at first why that verse resonated with me. Honestly, I can't recall ever having read it, or at least read it to comprehend it. It's an odd thing to say, really. Why would the author see the need to juxtapose these two thoughts?
It got me thinking about all of the beautiful houses I've seen in my life.
I've visited the palace of Versailles in France, the Winter Palace of Peter the Great in St. Petersburg, Russia, and Buckingham Palace in London. I've toured Biltmore House in Asheville, NC, and I've seen mansions and castles all over the world.
Not to mention all of the many towers and buildings I've been inside of in New York City, Chicago, Paris, and so many other places. And then there are the cathedrals and massive churches I've visited. From Spain to Jerusalem and everywhere in between and beyond.
All of these "houses" were built by someone---or at least attributed to someone. Christopher Wren designed St. Paul's Cathedral in London, for example. Or the great Antoni Gaudi, who designed the ever-changing Sagrada de Familia Cathedral in his beloved Barcelona.
I've stood outside of those two churches, and marveled at the genius of these two men. You stand outside them and you feel it... someone built this.
But there's the rest of the verse, isn't there? "...but God is the builder of everything."
It's like the author of Hebrews wanted to throw in a bit of crazy-awesome wisdom right in the middle of a passage that is all about Jesus as the eternal High Priest, an idea which envelopes this amazing-ness in a lot of doctrinal stuff that flies over the heads of most of us.
And what is this bit of wisdom?
Simply this... Our accomplishments, the things we strive so hard to build... the houses we construct and then sit back and admire because we built them... they might be impressive, but they aren't as impressive as everything.
When the author of Hebrews said, "...but God is the builder of everything," what did they really mean? I think they meant that even though we might catch glimpses of Divine creativity in the things we build, we need to understand that God is in all things and through all things.
This isn't pan-theism which states that God is everything. Rather, this is pan-en-theism, which states that God is found in all things.
Which means that God is the builder of all things. All things in the earth, above the earth and beneath the earth. All things within and without our very selves. All things.
This little verse with it's powerful message speaks to us during our Lenten journey, encouraging us, moving us, helping us to see God everywhere, including in our own hearts. This little verse that opens the door for us to see more of God all around us and in us.
May you receive this and be glad. And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.