What will we create in life to make a meaningful life? What lasts?
St. Botolph's Church, UK. Early English legends say the original church was founded by Botolph, in 654, with the source being the Anglo Saxon Chronicle. Archaeological records show a Norman church also existed on the location; a Norman stone pillar and a number of coffins from the period. The size of such a small church was inadequate for a booming town, in the 14th century, the church was built as a much larger building.
1 Why do you boast of evil, you mighty hero?
Why do you boast all day long,
you who are a disgrace in the eyes of God?
2 You who practice deceit,
your tongue plots destruction;
it is like a sharpened razor.
3 You love evil rather than good,
falsehood rather than speaking the truth.
4 You love every harmful word,
you deceitful tongue!
5 Surely God will bring you down to everlasting ruin:
He will snatch you up and pluck you from your tent;
he will uproot you from the land of the living.
6 The righteous will see and fear;
they will laugh at you, saying,
7 "Here now is the one
who did not make God his stronghold
but trusted in his great wealth
and grew strong by destroying others!"
8 But I am like an olive tree
flourishing in the house of God;
I trust in God's unfailing love
for ever and ever.
9 For what you have done I will always praise you
in the presence of your faithful people.
And I will hope in your name,
for your name is good.
Ruins verse Remain -
People search and look for a way to make their lives prosperous, comfortable and to have meaning.
We’ve been taught, culturally, greed is good and gives us stability. We learned this in the 1980’s, the movie ‘Wallstreet’ proclaimed with gusto, “Greed is good!” If you look at this theologically, the temporal joys of here and now are the only joys. Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die.
In the early 100s, Christianity was spreading rapidly, even under the threat of death. Temporal – no. In the 400s, Christianity was mainstream, but written history is scarce. About the 1000s, history is recorded and regarded less as myth and hearsay. Starvation was the largest reason of death, 1 in 3 until the late 1500s.
Using England as an example: in 1086, William the Conqueror gave England the first stability from invasion against foreign cultures. He created the Domesday Book, meaning accounting or reckoning, to find out what was prosperous for taxation. It’s the largest historical document supporting serfdom or feudalism. People were, literally, dying to become part of the circles supported by a castle. To be part of the workings of a lord prevented starvation. When timber castles were ruined, people built stone castles and tremendous effort was put into holding on to this community of the castle.
Castles last right - nooo
We watched a terrific documentary on the outcome of these castles and outcome of the generations of work. The timber castles were huge, with plenty of people living in them, they lasted about 150 years. Fire became a weapon of choice and stone castles were built in the same site or moved to higher ground, same community.
The castles, and the castle families, are the worldly temporal part of the history. What remains today after 1,000 years, and after 1,200 years, are ... the Churches. If you travel to the UK today, you can see a handful of the castles remaining, but 1,000 year old Churches are plentiful.
The Churches were, at first, round tower churches which were beautiful and fairly simple; built with local materials. Later, as the community prospered, the Church became amazing buildings men spent their lives putting their time and talent into. But the Church wasn’t just a building, the communities created by this fellowship became secure enough to move out of patrolled walls.
The Churches made the communities grow and remain today.
We hear all the time about the failures of the body of Christ called Church. We are taught the failures in grade school, high school and college. We see them in comedy, in movies and in people truly hurt by the Church, but how often do we have the opportunity to take time realizing the hope and joy given to us by the community created by Jesus called Church?
A large part of the compassion and hope allowing mankind to take the time and care to have the effort to educate others, came from a desire to give the love of Christ. The printing press was created to bring the Scripture forward into knowledge and love. Farms fed the poor and starving. Henry VIII is not recorded as having increased the starvation of his worldly reign into Critical, yet this is true, because the monasteries fed the people.
The Church began Hospitals and Schools.
Feudalism is gone. Castles are mostly gone. Churches remain, some are being pulled down and sold bit by bit. Let's stop this and sell this as a Church to other Churches.
The family farms are diminished. The corporations don't remain. The love of the Lord is a pendulum, even Notre Dame saw heresy. Yet the faith (I believe!), the hope (He means me!) and the Love (all there ever was and will be - towards me!) leads nations and multitudes Upward. The Scriptures tell us will praise Him in Eternity. As Handel's Messiah tells us... Forever and Ever..... Hallelujah!
OH The Places HE will Go!
Flashmob Bethlehem, Pennsylvania Thinking of Janice Swesey Pandulla and her family in the passing Home of her Mom Mrs. Vere Swesey - Della has gone Home age 92 !