Cheap Church or Glorious Cathedral?
In Ezra 3, we find the Jews celebrating the rebuilding of the temple after their captivity in Babylon. At least, most of them were celebrating.
Those who had seen the splendor of the former temple knew that the new temple was a big step down. They actually wept at the sight of the new temple’s foundation. Imagine. . . here’s this huge celebration; half the people are rejoicing and half are crying!
The problem was a matter of perspective. Those who had seen the previous temple were heartbroken over this new, watered-down version of the temple of God. But those who had never seen the original splendor were content to settle for the new design. They didn’t know what they were missing!
Likewise, the great architecture of the past reveals how we have settled for a comparatively cheap, temporary, and visually drab landscape today. One has only to compare our cityscapes of rectangular glass and steel to the great cathedrals, stone bridges, and castles that took man sometimes over 100 years to build. Though we possess technological advances and a myriad of tools and equipment to build the tallest buildings, our tastes and standards of excellence have reached an all-time low. The question is, why?
A life lived in beauty and excellence is a matter of reflection. Do you remember what happened to Moses when he returned from his 40-day meeting with God? His face was shining. Reflecting beauty and excellence depends upon external influences that cultivate internal godliness. When this occurs we become intrinsically motivated to:
“Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name; to worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness” (Psalm 29:2).
Mark’s Favorite Book of the Day!
This story is filled with gems of truth, the value of which cannot be measured. Young Basil takes these treasures to heart and determines to
live by them. He learns to pray, not that God would make him rich, but enable him to act honestly and industriously; for this is the way to become independent. His life experiences confirm what he had been told, that perseverance and industry are the two great essentials to success.
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