Psalm 127: “Unless The Lord builds the house, it’s builders labour in vain.
Unless The Lord watches over the city, the Watchmen watch in vain“.
This is not really the best news to start with here is it?
Well, long before Mr Eiffel’s gigantic imagination towered above the Parisian skyline, scores of nameless, faceless labourers had given of their energy to dig-out the foundations for what would become one of the most iconic buildings in the world.
They had no idea what was coming.
What you can still see today, 130 years or so after its inauguration, is supported by a vast matrix of hidden structures beneath the ground, carrying the weight and founding the stresses that the historic tower attracts from the elements.
A vast amount of imagination, time and resource are still given to modern structures today, with all of the technological advances of recent decades, to ensuring that what is visible remains visible, for a long time to come. No-one builds a house without giving very careful attention to the foundations, despite the fact that no-one will ever see them, and they will never get the recognition or the applause for doing what they were designed to do.
But who wants to bother with foundations really?
In the same way, as we now approach a very visible ‘Christian festival’ of sorts on 4th January, please be aware that many people, over many, many years have sown themselves into the ground in different ways to ‘prepare the way’, to serve and support our generation and the ones’ to come, in many hidden and sacrificial ways.
They volunteered, many of them, and probably had very little idea of what was coming. One of the foundations stones that only Heaven can currently view, in its’ fullness, is prayer. Prayer!
Without the ground-breaking work of the Holy Spirit, directing His people on earth in His mysterious ways, no matter how good a ‘structure’ or program we can put together on the night, nothing much will fundamentally change to bring about the kind of shift that we’re believing for in and across our beloved region.
We want to ask us all to join together now, over the remaining 14 days or so before we gather to celebrate and re-imagine the future together, to in some way partner together with Heaven to re-shape the spiritual environment of the next decade, as we obey His call to stand together in this way.
This requires simple faith and obedience. It will be largely hidden, and you never quite know what might be coming!
Unless He comes to land what only He can land, and unless He draws near to us to launch what only He can launch, whatever we seek to land or launch will fall way short of the mark, no matter how high we build our towers. We simply need Him. Jesus, build your Church!
Don’t get me wrong, we will build the very best altar that we can. We have and we will invest our very best seed into making this evening a night to remember, something we can all be proud to be a part of (in the right way) to bring Him glory, but unless He brings His glory down to us, the event will fade in our memories before too long, and our efforts will be forgotten in years to come.
We’re so thrilled that so many congregations are partnering with us, and that we have some wonderful Christian charities and businesses standing with us. And as you’ll have no doubt seen, Linsey has worked tirelessly over so many months to make this a ‘successful event’ for us all, something I’d hope we all want to see. She is not alone. Deb and her youth and kids’ teams, musicians, stewards, admin support, prayer warriors, faithful financial supporters…..the list goes on.
Yet, unless The Lord builds the house, unless He watches over our city, what level of success is really that successful anyway? We need Him.
We can have over 2,500 people turn out to pack the Bethel Convention Centre and create history, but to what end? We need YOU Lord, because without you, all we can really do is repeat history and put on a good show.
So, our final and perhaps most urgent communication before January 4th is to ask you to stand with us, whether you’re coming on the night itself or not, (and Jesus is watching you ardent Wolves fans too!!)…………….to pray.
So, we’re asking you all to pray this prayer below, as One, every day, every time you get chance, every moment the words resound in your memory if you can. Let us pray and believe like never before, and may we experience Him in our prayers like never before, as He remains a God who delights to reveal, to respond and to re-build…..;
“Lord, abide with us. Come and stay. Come and be in the middle of us, in the mix. Be our centre, and may this evening of 4th January 2020 (and the wider process that we’ve engaged in as diligently as we can) draw us all closer to You, and together.
May the next decade bring about such a spiritual shift across the Black Country that even the environment itself responds as your glory is further revealed in and through our Oneness, as You are One”. Amen.
The very good news to end with here is this. Where The Lord builds His Home, and when His Watch is over our city, nothing is lost, nothing is in vain, and all things are possible.
Can you imagine that?!