Two years ago a group in Windsor got together to build an enormous lego tower. It was a world record attempt and it took half a million bricks, and hundreds of volunteers for four days to make, and was a whopping 32 metres tall (105 ft).
The resort’s divisional director, Sue Kemp, told ITV: ‘We are delighted to reclaim the record for Britain. We last held it in 2008 when it was a mere 29.26 metres tall.
‘We’re very grateful to the hundreds of people who helped create the tower, which is made from over 500,000 bricks. It took four days to build and is certainly an impressive feat.’
As the father of three boys I am used to the joy in which playing with Lego (or Lincoln Logs, for you Americans out there) can give to children and families. Work and building can be enjoyable, productivity is good, but achieving something important doesn’t happen by accident. Listen to what Jesus says about following God in every generation and culture:
27 Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. 28 For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? 29 Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, 30 saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’ 31 Or what king, going out to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and deliberate whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? 32 And if not, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace. (Luke 14: 27-33)
According to Jesus’ parables here in Luke, the context of the Christian life is more of a building site or a battleground than a backwater. Wisdom says any great work requires preparation, grit and determination, and an expectation of complications.
The call of Christ to discipleship has the calloused hands of builders and also the casualties of conflict. But…we get to build towers!!!
Within the metaphors of these parables there is care- camaraderie and team, first aid, triage and field surgery, respite, reward and relief. Building sites are messy, inconvenient, costly, and sometimes dangerous – but without them we would have no buildings, no safety, no security and no comfort. Without building sites we would have no hospitals to care for the sick, no schools to train the mind, no roofs to shelter us from the elements, and no roads to get from A to B. And (apart from a small Lego spaceship), all building requires team and partnership, and a shared joy of completion.
May I suggest, then as you pray this week, and as we study Nehemiah together, that we take cost seriously, but we also press on to build and create peace in the place of conflict, and commit oursleves to constructing ways of caring for others, building community, caring for the spiritual lives of children and young adults.
If you want to come especially to seek God this week for direction and call – why not come to the Worship Night this Sunday evening.