September 4, 2018
YouTube offers a cornucopia of many things, and some are quite wonderful. Recently, I watched a series on primitive building. Cambodian men work alone or in pairs to create interesting, beautiful, strong homes and pools. With bamboo, long grass, mud, concrete made with ash and a few vines, these architectural prodigies make huts, pools and other domiciles without tools and processes to which Americans are accustomed.
They build without narration. In fact, they don’t even talk to each other while they work. They simply seem to know how to create, how to move in tandem so their endeavors develop seamlessly. Most buildings they create are small with dirt floors and a sleeping cot. The structures they build appear to be useful places to rest and relax in the woods. Essentially, what was made are showcases for what one can do with a little muscle, vision and innovation.
One episode stands out from the others. It featured a single young man building alone. In the way of this series, it was unclear what he envisioned as he began to arrange things. He walked to a mighty stream and collected hundreds of large, smooth stones from the stream bed. For long moments, the young person placed the rocks into a small rectangular dirt plot he prepared, pushing homemade concrete in between stones. Soon, one could see the beginnings of a sure foundation, with a stone floor and columns. Of the many videos I watched, this structure was bigger than usual, with more attention to detail. There was no dirt floor, and more permanency existed in the types of elements used. Finally, it was exposed that he was building a temple. Once the foundation was made, another builder joined him.
I found this video deeply moving because it reminded me of the work of the church. We are continuing the work of building this temple, joining with God who began this rock called Plymouth. Together, with faith in God, prayer and right intention, we build together, honor one another with acknowledgement and joy, that the skills, resources and gifts of one are as valuable as the other.
Sunday is homecoming, and homecoming means celebration! This Sunday, as we begin our 149th year as a church and congregation, may we do so by following the implicit pattern that God sets for us, creating our best to use the abundance of resources already within. May we be the best version of Plymouth rock, a foundation on which God and God’s people can thrive, dream, love and share its gifts with the world.
You are invited to come this Sunday and bring a friend! Upon this rock, dear friends, God in Jesus Christ is building the church. Blessed be! —Rev. Dr. Kelle Brown